Evaluation of dynamic testing for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction diagnosis in donkeys

S Mejia-Pereira, A Perez-Ecija, B R Buchanan, R E Toribio, F J Mendoza
Equine Veterinary Journal 2018 October 26

BACKGROUND: Endocrine disorders are common in donkeys. Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) is thought to be a frequent disturbance in donkeys due to their longevity. However, information on PPID dynamic testing in donkeys is lacking.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the previously described guidelines for PPID diagnosis in horses in donkeys with suspicion of PPID.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective experimental study.

METHODS: Eighty donkeys were evaluated for PPID suspicion based on clinical signs and baseline ACTH concentrations. Six mix-breed donkeys (one jack and 5 non-pregnant jennies) fulfilling inclusion criteria were subjected to dexamethasone suppression test (DST), TRH stimulation test (TRH) and combined DST-TRH challenge. Tests were interpreted according to guidelines for PPID diagnosis in horses.

RESULTS: Donkeys fulfilling inclusion criteria were diagnosed with PPID by TRH stimulation test (6 out of 6). Both DST (3 out of 6) and DST-TRH (4/6) challenges failed to detect those animals and showed conflicting results. Similarly, cortisol basal concentrations were not consistent with PPID suspicion.

MAIN LIMITATIONS: Characterisation of seasonal and geographical location effect on baseline ACTH concentrations and response to TRH is compelling in this species. Further studies with a larger number of donkeys are needed.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study in donkeys to evaluate common dynamic tests used for PPID diagnosis in horses. Preliminary results agree with the guidelines for PPID diagnosis in horses and baseline ACTH measurement followed by TRH challenge are recommended tests for diagnosis of PPID in donkeys. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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