CRP IN MONITORING CANINE STEROID RESPONSIVE MENINGITIS-ARTERITIS, BY MARK LOWRIE, MA, VetMB MVM, MRCVS Dip ECVN, European Veterinary Specialist in Neurology
Acute phase proteins are very sensitive markers for a broad spectrum of inflammatory based diseases. Although not specific for any particular condition, C-reactive protein (CRP) has been successfully used to monitor resolution and recurrence in canine steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA).
The disease is widely known to respond well to treatment with prednisolone, however, drug side effects frequently mask recovery during the therapeutic phase. Monitoring the dog during this period by cytological examination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is invasive and has been shown to be unreliable.
However, CRP testing is a useful tool in these circumstances since it can differentiate between clinical signs resulting from residual SRMA induced inflammation or the adverse effects of prednisolone itself.
Monitoring SRMA patients using serum CRP measurement during and after treatment can therefore provide valuable information necessary to tailor therapy to the individual dog.
This article will discuss presentation, breed and age predisposition, diagnosis and treatment of SRMA with specific reference to how serum CRP measurements can aid the clinician throughout this process.
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