01505-A: Identification of Biological Marker of Idiopathic Immune-Mediated Polyarthropathy to Enable Non-Invasive Diagnosis and Prognosis

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,960
Lauren A Trepanier, DVM, PhD; University of Wisconsin, Madison
August 1, 2010 - January 31, 2013

Sponsor(s): American Whippet Club, American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association, Worcester County Kennel Club

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Project Summary

Immune-mediated polyarthropathy (IMPA) is a disease of primarily large breed, young adult dogs, that leads to fever, swelling of multiple joints, and shifting leg lameness. IMPA is diagnosed by joint taps (drawing fluid from the joints under sedation) and joint x-rays, and by excluding tick-borne infections such as Lyme disease. Repeated joint taps are used to monitor clinical response to immunosuppressive treatment for IMPA; however, these additional joint taps can be expensive and invasive. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine whether blood markers of inflammation might be a good substitute for joint taps in monitoring response to prednisone treatment in this disease. In a pilot study funded by the AKC, we evaluated 10 dogs with IMPA and found that two markers of inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), are abnormally high with untreated IMPA, and improve rapidly as lameness and joint inflammation resolves. We also found evidence that these markers are not abnormal in dogs with simple cruciate ligament rupture of the knee. These are encouraging results suggest that CRP and IL-6 show promise in diagnosing and monitoring dogs with IMPA. Follow-up studies will determine whether these two blood tests can help to stage the severity of disease and guide response to prednisone treatment in a larger group of dogs.


Foster, J. D., Sample, S., Kohler, R., Watson, K., Muir, P., & Trepanier, L. A. (2014). Serum Biomarkers of Clinical and Cytologic Response in Dogs with Idiopathic Immune-Mediated Polyarthropathy. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 28(3), 905–911. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.12351

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