Background: Pancreatitis is a common disorder in dogs for which the antemortem diagnosis remains challenging.
Objectives: To compare the sensitivity and specificity of serum markers for pancreatitis in dogs with histopathologic evidence of pancreatitis or lack thereof.
Animals: Seventy dogs necropsied for a variety of reasons in which the pancreas was removed within 4 hours of euthanasia and serological markers were evaluated within 24 hours of death.
Methods: Prospective study: Serum was analyzed for amylase and lipase activities, and concentrations of canine trypsin-like immunoreactivity (cTLI) and canine pancreas-specific lipase (cPL). Serial transverse sections of the pancreas were made every 2 cm throughout the entire pancreas and reviewed using a semiquantitative histopathologic grading scheme.
Results: The sensitivity for the Spec cPL (cutoff value 400 μg/L) was 21 and 71% in dogs with mild (n = 56) or moderate-severe pancreatitis (n = 7), and 43 and 71% (cutoff value 200 μg/L), respectively. The sensitivity for the cTLI, serum amylase, and lipase in dogs with mild or moderate-severe pancreatitis was 30 and 29%; 7 and 14%; and 54 and 71%, respectively. The specificity for the Spec cPL based on 7 normal pancreata was 100 and 86% (cutoff value 400 and 200 μg/L, respectively), whereas the specificity for the cTLI, serum amylase, and lipase activity was 100, 100, and 43%, respectively.
Conclusion and clinical importance: The Spec cPL demonstrated the best overall performance characteristics (sensitivity and specificity) compared to other serum markers for diagnosing histopathologic lesions of pancreatitis in dogs.
Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.