Effects of Methimazole on Renal Function in Cats with Hyperthyroidism

Becker T.J., Graves T.K., Kruger J.M., et al.

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc, 2000. 36(3): p.215-23.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of methimazole on renal function in cats with hyperthyroidism. Twelve cats with naturally occurring hyperthyroidism and 10 clinically normal (i.e., control) cats were included in this study. All cats initially were evaluated with a history, physical examination, complete blood count, serum biochemistry profile, basal serum total thyroxine concentration, complete urinalysis, and urine bacterial culture. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was estimated by a plasma iohexol clearance (PIC) test. After initial evaluation, hyperthyroid cats were treated with methimazole until euthyroidism was achieved. Both groups of cats were then reevaluated by repeating the initial tests four to six weeks later. The mean (+/-standard deviation) pretreatment estimated GFR for the hyperthyroid cats was significantly higher (3.83+/-1.82 ml/kg per min) than that of the control cats (1.83+/-0.56 ml/kg per min). Control of the hyperthyroidism resulted in a significantly decreased mean GFR of 2.02+/-0.81 ml/kg per minute when compared to pretreatment values. In the hyperthyroid group, the mean increases in serum urea nitrogen (SUN) and creatinine concentrations and the mean decrease in the urine specific gravity after treatment were not statistically significant when compared to pretreatment values. Two of the 12 hyperthyroid cats developed abnormally high serum creatinine concentrations following treatment. These results provide evidence that cats with hyperthyroidism have increased GFR compared to normal cats, and that treatment of feline hyperthyroidism with methimazole results in decreased GFR.