Objectives: To evaluate the clinical utility of serum tumour necrosis factor-α, C-reactive protein and microalbuminuria as disease activity markers in canine idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease.
Methods: Dogs with chronic gastrointestinal disease for which no underlying cause could be identified were considered to have idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease and were included in the study. Serum tumour necrosis factor-α was assessed using a canine-specific ELISA, C-reactive protein by immunoturbidometric assay and quantitative microalbuminuria was analysed using a monoclonal antibody directed against canine albumin. The canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index and histopathologic grade were used to assess disease severity; biologic markers were then compared with the canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index and histopathologic grade.
Results: Sixteen dogs were included in the study. C-reactive protein level was mildly elevated in 15 dogs. Microalbuminuria was elevated in two of 15 dogs, and tumour necrosis factor-α was not detected in any dog tested. No correlation was found between the canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index and C-reactive protein or microalbuminuria or between histopathologic grade and C-reactive protein or microalbuminuria. There was no correlation between histopathologic grade and the canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index.
Clinical Significance: Although only a small number of dogs were evaluated, this study does not support the use of serum tumour necrosis factor-α measured by canine-specific ELISA or microalbuminuria in the evaluation of disease activity in dogs with idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. Although mildly elevated in most dogs, C-reactive protein did not reflect disease severity as assessed by the canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index or histopathologic grade.