Fecal and urinary N-methylhistamine concentrations in dogs with chronic gastrointestinal disease.
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Due to their ability to release inflammatory mediators, such as histamine, mast cells are potentially important in gastrointestinal disease. The purpose of this study was to measure N-methylhistamine (NMH), a histamine metabolite, in fecal and urine samples from dogs with chronic gastrointestinal disease. Fecal and urinary NMH concentrations were compared between dogs with chronic gastrointestinal disease and control dogs, and/or to control ranges. Correlation between fecal and urinary NMH concentrations, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration, the clinical disease activity index (CCECAI), and gastrointestinal mucosal mast cell numbers (where available) in dogs with gastrointestinal disease was evaluated. Seven of 16 dogs with gastrointestinal disease had increased urinary or fecal NMH concentrations, but there was no correlation between NMH concentrations and the CCECAI or mucosal mast cells numbers. Urinary NMH concentrations were positively associated with histological grading and serum CRP concentrations. The lack of correlation between NMH concentrations and the CCECAI suggests that NMH may not be a good marker for clinical disease activity in dogs as determined by the CCECAI. Based on their association with severity of intestinal mucosal inflammation, urinary NMH concentrations may potentially have clinical utility as a marker of intestinal inflammation in certain groups of dogs with chronic gastrointestinal disease, but future studies in a larger number of dogs are necessary to further characterize the role of mast cell-mediated inflammation in dogs with chronic gastrointestinal disease.