• dogs;
  • glomerular filtration rate;
  • plasma volume;
  • renal scintigraphy;
  • technetium-99m dietylene-triaminepentaacetic acid

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) normalized to body fluid volumes to adjust for differing body size and conformation is more physiologically correct than a relationship with body weight (BW). GFR can be normalized to plasma volume by a renographic method that uses the Rutland–Patlak plot with plasma activity and kidney activity inputs. A plasma time–activity curve is obtained from a region of interest (ROI) of the left ventricle (LV), the size of which is in theory not critical. The aims of the study were to evaluate the effect of different LV ROI sizes, the effect of extravascular activity in the thorax over the LV ROI, and different time intervals for the semilogarithmic LV plot. Seventy-two scintigrams were used, with three different-sized automatic and a manual LV ROI, all with and without subtracting extravascular activity, and with LV curve time intervals of 30–120 s and 60–240 s. GFR/plasma volume was not affected by LV ROI sizes but significantly affected by extravascular activity subtraction and different time intervals. Subtracting extravascular activity from the LV ROI did not improve precision, but increased variability caused by different LV ROI sizes and time intervals chosen for the LV plot. The ROI for measuring extravascular activity apparently contained a considerable and variable intravascular component, which when subtracted, created noisy and unreliable LV curves. Manual LV ROI, without extravascular subtraction, and a time interval for LV input between 1 and 4 min are recommended as they gave the least variability determined by statistical analysis. With these methods, normal individual GFR/plasma volume in normal beagle dogs was 29.2±6.5 ml/min/l.