• Cancer diagnostics;
  • V-BTA;
  • veterinary bladder tumor analyte

Background: The accumulation of frame-shift mutations in microsatellites (MS), termed microsatellite instability (MSI), is associated with certain tumors. MSI and its detection in urine samples has been used to aid in the detection of human bladder cancer.

Hypothesis: Evaluation of MSI in urine is a useful assay test for diagnosis of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) in dogs and is more specific than the commercially available, veterinary bladder tumor analyte (V-BTA) test.

Animals: Seventy-three dogs: healthy controls (n= 21), proteinuric (n= 12), lower urinary tract disease excluding TCC (n= 17), and TCC (n= 23).

Methods: Prospective observational study. Urine samples collected from each animal were evaluated for MSI and using the V-BTA. For MSI detection, 22 MS sequences were polymerase chain reaction amplified from urine and blood, subjected to capillary electrophoresis, and the MS genotypes were compared. Aberration in ≥15% of MS was considered indicative of MSI.

Results: MSI was detected in 11 of 23 (48%) urine samples from dogs with TCC. MSI was also detected in 12 of 50 (24%) of the control animals, including 29, 16, and 24% of healthy, proteinuric, and lower urinary disease dogs, respectively. In this population, sensitivity and specificity of MSI analysis was 48 and 76%, respectively, compared with 83 and 64%, respectively, for the V-BTA test.

Conclusions: MS analysis as performed in this study is not useful in the diagnosis of TCC.