Evaluation of Gastric pH and Serum Gastrin Concentrations in Cats with Chronic Kidney Disease.

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a highly prevalent condition in cats. Advanced CKD is associated with hyporexia and vomiting, which typically are attributed to uremic toxins and gastric hyperacidity. However, gastric pH studies have not been performed in cats with CKD.


To determine if cats with CKD have decreased gastric pH compared to age-matched, healthy cats. Based on previous work demonstrating an association of hypergastrinemia and CKD, we hypothesized that cats with CKD would have decreased gastric pH compared to healthy, age-matched control cats.


10 CKD cats; 9 healthy control cats.


All cats with concurrent disease were excluded on the basis of history, physical examination, CBC, plasma biochemistry profile, urinalysis, urine culture, serum total thyroxine concentration, and serum symmetric dimethylarginine concentration (controls only) obtained within 24 hours of pH monitoring and assessment of serum gastrin concentrations. Serum for gastrin determination was collected, and 12-hour continuous gastric pH monitoring was performed in all cats. Serum gastrin concentration, mean pH, and percentage time that gastric pH was strongly acidic (pH <1 and <2) were compared between groups.


No significant differences in serum gastrin concentrations were observed between groups (medians [range]: CKD, 18.7 ng/dL [<10-659.0]; healthy, 54.6 ng/dL [<10-98.0]; P-value = 0.713) or of any pH parameters including mean ± SD gastric pH (CKD, 1.8 ± 0.5; healthy, 1.6 ± 0.3; P-value = 0.23).


These findings suggest that cats with CKD may not have gastric hyperacidity compared to healthy cats and, therefore, may not need acid suppression. Thus, further studies to determine if there is a benefit to acid suppression in cats with CKD are warranted.

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