To describe relapse rates in steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis and to describe clinical and laboratory parameters in dogs with and without relapses.METHODS:
Seventy-four dogs with steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis were retrospectively identified and assigned to one of three groups: (1) without relapse; (2) at least one relapse and (3) unknown relapse status. The following parameters are reported for the first two groups: sex, age, breed, body weight, nucleated cell count, total protein concentration and percentage of neutrophils on initial cerebrospinal fluid analysis, immunoglobulin A in serum and initial cerebrospinal fluid analysis, nucleated cell count on cerebrospinal fluid analysis at 3-month re-evaluation, C-reactive protein in serum and initial cerebrospinal fluid analysis and at 3-month re-evaluation.RESULTS:
Relapses occurred in 32 · 4% of dogs (one relapse: 62 · 5%; two relapses: 25 · 0%; three relapses: 8 · 3%; four relapses: 4 · 2%), 55 · 4% were relapse-free and in 12 · 2% the relapse status was unknown. C-reactive protein in serum and cerebrospinal fluid on 3-month re-evaluation was normal in 80% and 75% of dogs with relapses, respectively. In dogs without relapse, C-reactive protein in serum and cerebrospinal fluid on 3-month re-evaluation was normal in 100% and 90% of dogs, respectively.CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
Relapses are frequent but no reliable predictive indicator has emerged in this study. Nevertheless, elevated C-reactive protein in serum warrants continuing therapy; normal C-reactive protein in serum does not exclude future relapse.