Endotoxin-induced nonthyroidal illness in dogs

David L. Panciera, Jerry W. Ritchey, Daniel L. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective - To determine the effects of endotoxin administration on thyroid function test results and serum tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) activity in healthy dogs. Animal - 6 healthy adult male dogs. Procedures - Serum concentrations of thyroxine (T4), 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3), 3,3′5′-triiodothyronine (rT3), free T4 (fT4), and endogenous canine thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and TNF-α activity were measured before (day-1; baseline), during (days 0 to 3), and after (days 4 to 24) IV administration of endotoxin every 12 hours for 84 hours. Results - Compared with baseline values, serum T3 concentration decreased significantly, whereas rT3 concentration increased significantly 8 hours after initial endotoxin administration. Serum T4 concentration decreased significantly at 8 and 12 hours after initiating endotoxin administration. Serum T4 concentration returned to reference range limits, then decreased significantly on days 6 to 12 and 16 to 20. Serum fT4 concentration increased significantly at 12, 24, and 48 hours after cessation of endotoxin treatment, compared with baseline values. Serum rT3 concentration returned to reference range, then decreased significantly days 5 and 7 after stopping endotoxin treatment. Serum TNF-α activity was significantly increased only 4 hours after initial endotoxin treatment, compared with baseline activity. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Endotoxin administration modeled alterations in thyroid function test results found in dogs with spontaneous nonthyroidal illness syndrome. A decrease in serum T4 and T3 concentrations and increase in serum rT3 concentration indicate impaired secretion and metabolism of thyroid hormones. The persistent decrease in serum T4 concentration indicates that caution should be used in interpreting serum T4 concentrations after resolution of an illness in dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • veterinary(all)


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