• Open Access

The Use of 17-Hydroxyprogesterone in the Diagnosis of Canine Hyperadrenocorticism


Wey Referrals, 125–129 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey, UK GU21 5BP; e-mail: jelnbri@aol.com.


A number of dogs are seen with clinical signs consistent with hyperadrenocorticism (HAC), supporting CBC and biochemical findings, but the disease cannot be confirmed with either the ACTH stimulation test or the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST). Therefore, another screening test is required to aid diagnosis in these atypical cases of HAC. The aim of this study was to investigate whether measuring 17-hydroxyprogesterone (OHP) concentrations could be used in this role. Plasma cortisol and OHP concentrations were measured in dogs with clinical signs suggestive of HAC before and after administration of exogenous ACTH. In dogs with HAC, plasma OHP showed an exaggerated response to ACTH stimulation. This was seen in both typical cases of HAC with a positive cortisol response to ACTH administration and in atypical cases with negative screening test results. The test can be performed on plasma already taken for a conventional ACTH stimulation test. Post-ACTH OHP concentrations decreased after treatment with mitotane or adrenalectomy. These results suggest that OHP measurements can be used as an aid to diagnose and manage canine HAC.