Serum concentrations of canine alpha(1)-proteinase inhibitor in cobalamin-deficient Yorkshire Terrier dogs.
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Fecal canine alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (c1-PI) concentration has been reported to be increased in dogs with protein-losing enteropathy due to the loss of c1-PI into the gastrointestinal tract. A chronic loss of c1-PI may theoretically deplete serum c1-PI, potentially altering the proteinase-to-proteinase inhibitor balance. Protein-losing enteropathy has been reported to occur frequently in certain dog breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers and to be associated with hypocobalaminemia. The objective was to compare serum c1-PI concentrations in Yorkshire Terriers with and without cobalamin (COB) deficiency. Serum samples from 52 COB-deficient and 69 normocobalaminemic Yorkshire Terriers, which had been submitted to the Gastrointestinal Laboratory (2008-2011; College Station, TX), were included retrospectively. Serum c1-PI concentrations were measured using an in-house radioimmunoassay and compared between Yorkshire Terriers with and without COB deficiency using a Mann-Whitney U test. A Fisher exact test was used to evaluate whether a decreased serum c1-PI concentration is associated with COB deficiency in Yorkshire Terriers. Serum c1-PI concentrations were significantly lower in COB-deficient Yorkshire Terriers (median: 1,016 mg/l, range: 315-3,945 mg/l) than in normocobalaminemic Yorkshire Terriers (median: 1,665 mg/l, range: 900-2,970 mg/l; P < 0.0001). One-fourth (n = 13) of the COB-deficient Yorkshire Terriers had a serum c1-PI concentration below the lower limit of the reference interval (<732 mg/l), and COB deficiency was associated with decreased serum c1-PI concentrations (P < 0.0001). In the current study, serum c1-PI concentrations are significantly lower in COB-deficient Yorkshire Terriers when compared to normocobalaminemic Yorkshire Terriers. Further studies are needed to determine the functional and potential prognostic implications of serum c1-PI concentrations in dogs with gastrointestinal disease.