Proteinuria common in canine lymphoma

Approximately a quarter of dogs with lymphoma have proteinuria, a much greater proportion than seen in healthy dogs, indicate research results.

In most cases, the proteinuria is not severe, note the researchers in the Journal of Small Animal Practice, and the clinical impact is therefore likely to be low.

In humans with lymphoma, structural glomerular diseases and impaired glomerular permselectivity "can be a sequelae of lymphoma," explain Cristiana Maurella (Osservatorio Epidemiologico BAER Instituto Zooprofilattico Piemonte, Torino, Italy) and colleagues.

"Identifying potential renal complications could be important to better manage the overall treatment of these [animal] patients," they add.

The team carried out complete hematology, biochemistry, electrolytes, urine analysis, urine protein:creatinine ratio (UPC), and imaging for disease staging in 32 dogs with a lymphoma diagnosis, and 31 healthy dogs (controls).

Proteinuria was defined as either normal with a UPC of 0.5 or less, or pathological, with a UPC above 0.5.

Dogs were aged a median 7 years, with no significant difference in age between the lymphoma and control groups, and their respective median UPCs ranged from 0.063 to 3.900 and 0.000 to 0.100.

A total of eight (25%) dogs had UPC values higher or equal to 0.5, and only one animal had a UPC greater than 2.0, which can indicate structural glomerular disease, note the researchers.

The median UPCs for the lymphoma and control groups were 0.16 and 0.10, respectively, indicating a statistically significantly higher magnitude of proteinuria in those animals who also had lymphoma.

The magnitude of UPC was unaffected by stage and substage of lymphoma in the dogs in that group, write Maurella et al.

Different causes of renal proteinuria are possible in this cohort they add, and in light of the overall low level of the condition, it is likely that "impaired glomerular permselectivity is the cause of the proteinuria in most of these patients."

One limitation noted by the research team is the lack of repeat testing to calculate UPC over several weeks, as is suggested by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine consensus group. However, the dogs in the present study with lymphoma underwent multi-agent chemotherapy immediately after diagnosis, including agents that are known to cause significant proteinuria.

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