Adrenal Function in Cats with Hyperthyroidism

Ramspott S., Hartmann K., Sauter-Louis C., et al.

J Feline Med Surg, 2012. 14(4): p.262-6.


Adrenal function may be altered in animals with hyperthyroidism. The aim of the study was to assess adrenal function of hyperthyroid cats (n = 17) compared to healthy cats (n = 18) and cats with chronic diseases (n = 18). Adrenal function was evaluated by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test and the urinary cortisol to creatinine ratio (UCCR) was determined. Length and width of both adrenal glands were measured via ultrasound. Hyperthyroid cats had significantly higher cortisol levels before and after stimulation with ACTH than the other groups. However, the UCCR was not elevated in hyperthyroid cats. The size of the adrenal glands of hyperthyroid cats was not significantly different from the size of those of healthy cats. The results indicate that cats with hyperthyroidism have a higher cortisol secretory capacity in a hospital setting. The normal size of the adrenal glands suggests that cortisol levels may not be increased permanently.