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Keywords:

  • Freezing;
  • Refrigeration;
  • Thyroid function test;
  • Thyroxine

Bovine thyrotropin (bTSH) stimulation testing has long been considered the gold standard for diagnosis of canine hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, bTSH is no longer commercially available. Recently, the use of recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) to perform thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulation testing in dogs was described. The cost of an rhTSH vial (1.1 mg) limits the practical use of this product. The study reported here was performed to determine the effects of storing rhTSH on the post-TSH increase of serum total (TT4) and free (FT4) thyroxine concentrations during TSH stimulation testing in 12 euthyroid Beagles in a crossover trial. Three TSH tests with recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH; 91.5 μg IV) were performed on each dog during 3 different periods: 1 with freshly reconstituted rhTSH (fresh); 1 with rhTSH, reconstituted and stored at 4°C for 4 weeks (refrigerated); and 1 with rhTSH, reconstituted and frozen at-20°C for 8 weeks (frozen). Blood samples for determination of TT4 and FT4 concentrations were collected before and 4 and 6 hours after rhTSH administration. There was no significant difference in TT4 or FT4 concentration after stimulation with fresh, refrigerated, and frozen rhTSH. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between TT4 or FT4 serum concentration observed 4 and 6 hours after rhTSH administration. In conclusion, reconstituted rhTSH can be stored at 4°C for 4 weeks and at-20°C for 8 weeks without loss of biological activity, allowing clinicians to perform more TSH response tests per vial.