J Vet Sci.  2018 Nov;19(6):840-845. 10.4142/jvs.2018.19.6.840.

Ultrasonographic evaluation of skin thickness in small breed dogs with hyperadrenocorticism

  • 1Institute of Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Korea. lhc@gnu.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to propose a standard for differentiation between normal dogs and patients with hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) by measuring skin thickness via ultrasonography in small breed dogs. Significant changes in skin thickness of patients treated with prednisolone (PDS) or patients with HAC treated with trilostane were evaluated. Skin thickness was retrospectively measured on three abdominal digital images obtained from small breed dogs weighing < 15 kg that underwent abdominal ultrasonography. Mean skin thickness of normal dogs was 1.03 ± 0.25 mm (mean ± SD). Both the HAC and PDS groups showed significantly thinner skin than that in the normal group. Seven of the 10 HAC patients treated with trilostane had increased skin thickness. The area under the curve value of 0.807 was based on the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve for differentiating normal dogs from HAC patients. Sensitivity was 76% and specificity was 73% when skin thickness was less than the 0.83 mm cutoff value. In conclusion, measurement of skin thickness in small breed dogs by using ultrasonography is likely to provide clinical information useful in differentiating HAC patients from normal dogs. However, exposure to PDS, trilostane, and other conditions may have a significant effect on skin thickness.


dogs; hyperadrenocorticism; skin; thickness; ultrasonography
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