Steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis: a prospective study of potential disease markers, prednisolone treatment, and long-term outcome in 20 dogs (2006-2008)

J Vet Intern Med. Jul-Aug 2009;23(4):862-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0337.x.


Background: Previous multidrug studies have identified the value of prednisolone in treating steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA) and the potential value of acute phase proteins (APPs) and immunoglobulin A (IgA) in diagnosis and monitoring.

Hypothesis: (1) Prednisolone monotherapy is a successful immunosuppressive modality in the treatment of SRMA; (2) protein markers are useful in identifying the potential for relapse.

Animals: Twenty client-owned dogs with SRMA presented to the University of Glasgow Small Animal Hospital between May 2006 and May 2008.

Methods: A prospective, observational study: CBC, biochemistry, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analyses were performed. C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid-A, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, and haptoglobin (Hp) were assessed in the serum. IgA concentrations were determined in the serum and CSF.

Results: Clinical resolution of SRMA was achieved in all 20 dogs. Serum CRP concentration remained increased at remission in 16/20 dogs whereas CSF cytology was within normal limits in 20/20 dogs. Serum APPs decreased significantly on treatment (P<.05) except Hp, which remained unaltered. Serum and CSF IgA concentrations remained increased for the duration of treatment.

Conclusions and clinical importance: The prednisolone regimen presented was successful in treating SRMA without the need for additional drugs. Serum APPs are of use in the diagnosis and management of SRMA, particularly in relation to identifying relapse. Serum and CSF IgA concentrations remain increased throughout disease, aiding in diagnosis but not contributing to the management of SRMA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arteritis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Arteritis / drug therapy
  • Arteritis / veterinary*
  • Biomarkers*
  • Dog Diseases / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Male
  • Meningitis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningitis / drug therapy
  • Meningitis / veterinary*
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Prednisolone