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Hyperthyroidism and kidney disease in cats

Progress report, Winn grant 09-013
Identification of a biomarker for masked renal failure in hyperthyroid cats
Investigator: Thomas Schermerhorn, Kansas State University and collaborators
These researchers are trying to improve diagnosis and prognosis of cats with both hyperthyroidism and kidney disease, two common ailments of aging cats. Often, hyperthyroidism masks underlying kidney disease until it is revealed during treatment. The investigators are attempting to define a method for identifying the kidney disease before treatment of hyperthyroidism. This would improve the well-being of the cat as well as its life expectancy. To do this, they are analyzing the urine of hyperthyroid cats using a cutting-edge technique to identify literally thousands of urine components to see if any correlate with post-treatment appearance of kidney disease.

It has been a challenge acquiring sufficient numbers of cases of cats with hyperthyroidism able to participate in the study. Despite this, analysis is ongoing. To date, no identifiable correlate with renal disease has been found. However, the urine composition of hyperthyroid cats has been determined at a much more detailed level, which may allow future diagnosis of this condition via a simple urine test. [MK]

See also: Riensche MR, Graves TK, Schaeffer DJ. An investigation of predictors of renal insufficiency following treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats. J Feline Med Surg 2008;10:160-166.