Relationship between Total Homocysteine, Folic Acid, and Thyroid Hormones in Hypothyroid Dogs

Golynski M, Lutnicki K, Krumrych W, et al.

J Vet Intern Med 2017;31:1403-1405.

BACKGROUND: Both elevated homocysteine and decreased folic acid concentrations are observed in human patients with hypothyroidism and can influence the development of numerous secondary disorders. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess total homocysteine concentration in serum and to examine its relationship with the concentration of folic acid and thyroid hormones (tT4 and fT4). ANIMALS: Ten healthy and 19 hypothyroid client-owned dogs. METHODS: Dogs with clinical signs of hypothyroidism had the diagnosis confirmed by additional tests. Total homocysteine, folic acid, total thyroxine, and free thyroxine concentrations in serum were evaluated. RESULTS: Hypothyroid dogs were diagnosed with increased homocysteine (median 22.20 mumol/L; range, 16.50-37.75) and decreased folic acid (median 20.62 nmol/L; range, 10.54-26.35) concentrations, as compared to healthy dogs (11.52 mumol/L; range, 10.00-16.65 and 30.68 nmol/L; range, 22.84-38.52, respectively). In sick dogs, total homocysteine was inversely correlated with folic acid (rho = -0.47, P < 0.001), total thyroxine (rho = -0.69, P = 0.0092), and free thyroxine (rho = -0.56, P = 0.0302). CONCLUSIONS: Hypothyroidism in dogs causes hyperhomocysteinemia. Concomitant mild folic acid decrease in hypothyroid dogs might be as a result of hyperhomocysteinemia.