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Pubmed ID :20726955
Publication Date : //

Routine and specialized laboratory testing for the diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases in dogs and cats.


The diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases can be challenging. The first step is recognition that the disease involves the neuromuscular system (muscle, neuromuscular junction, peripheral nerve, and ventral horn cells of the spinal cord). Many neuromuscular diseases share clinical signs and cannot be distinguished based on clinical examination. Routine laboratory screening, including a CBC, biochemical profile, and urinalysis, can identify some of the most common systemic abnormalities that cause muscle weakness and myalgia, such as hypo- and hyperglycemia, electrolyte disorders, or thyroid abnormalities, and may suggest a specific diagnosis, such as diabetes mellitus, hypo- or hyperadrenocorticism, renal failure, or hypothyroidism. Increased creatine kinase activity, increased cardiac troponin I concentration, and myoglobinuria are useful in detecting skeletal and cardiac muscle damage. Identification of acetylcholine receptor antibodies is diagnostic for acquired myasthenia gravis. For primary muscle or peripheral nerve diseases, tissue biopsy is the most direct way to determine specific pathology, correctly classify the disease, and determine the course of additional laboratory testing. For example, inflammatory, necrotizing, dystrophic, metabolic, or congenital myopathies require different laboratory testing procedures for further characterization. Many neuromuscular diseases are inherited or breed-associated, and DNA-based tests may already be established or may be feasible to develop after the disorder has been accurately characterized. This review focuses on both routine and specialized laboratory testing necessary to reach a definitive diagnosis and determine an accurate prognosis for neuromuscular diseases.

Authors : Shelton G Diane ,

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