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Whole-Blood Taurine Concentrations in Cats With Intestinal Disease.



Increased delivery of taurine-conjugated bile acids to the distal bowel can lead to dysbiosis resulting in colitis in mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease. A similar situation also could occur in cats with intestinal disease and might therefore result in decreased whole-body taurine concentration.


To determine whether whole-blood taurine concentrations are decreased at the time of diagnosis in cats with intestinal disease and to correlate concentrations with clinical and laboratory variables.


Twenty-one cats with chronic inflammatory enteropathy and 7 cats with intestinal neoplasia from the University of Bristol.


Cats that had undergone a thorough investigation consisting of a CBC, serum biochemistry, serum cobalamin and folate concentrations, transabdominal ultrasound examination and histopathology of intestinal biopsy specimens, as well as additional testing if indicated, were included. Whole-blood from these cats collected at the time of histologic diagnosis and stored in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid was retrospectively analyzed for taurine with an automated high-performance liquid chromatography amino acid analyzer.


Although whole-blood taurine concentrations remained within the reference range, those cats with predominantly large intestinal clinical signs had significantly lower concentrations than did cats with small intestinal and mixed bowel clinical signs (P = 0.033) and this difference also was significant when assessed only in cats with chronic inflammatory enteropathy (P = 0.019).

Conclusions and clinical importance

Additional studies are needed to determine whether large intestinal signs in cats with chronic inflammatory enteropathy are caused by alterations in the microbiota arising as a consequence of increased delivery of taurine-conjugated bile acids.

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