Hyperthyroidism due to an intrathoracic tumour in a dog with test results suggesting hyperadrenocorticism

Stassen QE, Voorhout G, Teske E, et al.

J Small Anim Pract 2007;48:283-287.

The elevated urinary corticoid/creatinine ratios of an 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier with polyuria were suppressible in a high-dose dexamethasone suppression test, which was suggestive of pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism. The absence of physical and routine-laboratory changes compatible with hyperadrenocorticism and the relatively high plasma thyroxine concentration were the impetus for additional studies of thyroid and adrenocortical functions. A high plasma thyroxine concentration (62 nmol/l; 5.0 microg/100 ml) suggested the presence of hyperthyroidism. Radiography, (99m)TcO(4) (-) scintigraphy, ultrasonography, computed tomography and cytology revealed a hyperfunctioning intrathoracic thyroid tumour. In the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test, the plasma cortisol concentration exceeded the reference value of 40 nmol/l (1.4 microg/100 ml) at eight hours after dexamethasone administration (0.01 mg/kg intravenously), a test result compatible with hyperadrenocorticism. In conclusion, this report represents the first case of a dog with an autonomously hyperfunctioning thyroid tumour in the thorax. The elevated urinary corticoid excretion and the positive low-dose dexamethasone suppression test may be explained by alterations in cortisol metabolism, the stress of the hyperthyroid state or both.