Hypercobalaminaemia is associated with hepatic and neoplastic disease in cats: a cross sectional study

BMC Vet Res. 2014 Aug 8;10:175. doi: 10.1186/s12917-014-0175-x.


Background: When increased serum cobalamin concentrations are encountered clinically they are usually attributed to parenteral supplementation, dietary factors, or otherwise ignored. However, recently, hypercobalaminaemia has been associated with numerous diseases in humans, most notably neoplastic and hepatic disorders. The aim of this retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study was to determine the significance of increased cobalamin in cats.

Results: In total, 237 records were retrieved and 174 cats, of various ages and sexes met the inclusion criteria. A total of 42 cats had increased serum cobalamin concentration, and had not received prior supplementation. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that increased serum cobalamin concentration was positively related to pedigree breed (pedigree breeds more likely to have increased cobalamin concentration, odds ratio [OR] 4.24, 95% CI 1.78-10.15, P = 0.001), to having liver disease (OR 9.91, 95% CI 3.54-27.68), and to having a solid neoplasm (OR 8.54, 95% CI 1.10-66.45).

Conclusions: The results of the current study suggest that increased serum cobalamin concentrations should not be ignored in cats with no history of supplementation, and investigation for underlying hepatic or neoplastic disease is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / blood
  • Cat Diseases / etiology*
  • Cats
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Liver Diseases / blood
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Diseases / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood*


  • Vitamin B 12