Message Number: YG1297 | New FHL Archives Search
From: steve austin
Date: 2001-03-15 01:47:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Tennessee panel info

Since there is a few questions on the TN Panel I copied the
info from FerretCentral, if it is allowed. If not can edit
that and just provide the link, it is in the FAQ section.

Ferret Central is an excellent source of info., with many
great links.
Please see the comment at the end by Dr. WIlliams, this is
only needed in those questionable cases, and I think it is
important that the vet knows that this test is recommended
over the one they would run for a dog suspected of Cushings
disease- I am just pointing that out because it came up
before, and I brought this info to my vet, who was not aware
of the test.
Blood tests for adrenal disease
The only reliable blood test for detecting adrenal disease is
available to private practitioners from the Endocrinology lab
at the University of Tennessee. The adrenal endocrine panel is
run by Betsy Bailey <> and
interpreted by Dr. Jack Oliver <>. They
welcome questions about the panel or interpretation of the
results. Patient histories are requested, and sample
submission and sharing of histopathological findings of
involved adrenals is desired. Contact them by email or at
423-974-5638 (for the lab) or 423-974-5729 (Dr. Oliver). Their
address is
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Clinical Endocrinology Lab
Dept. of Comparative Medicine
2407 River Drive, Rm. A105 VTH
Knoxville, TN 37996
The test requires 0.3 cc of serum, spun down and placed in a
clean tube. No gel should be used, as it is unstable during
Betsy Bailey writes in early 1998:
Ferret Adrenal Panel Normal Values

steroid SI units mean +/- SD Upper Normal Cutoff
Cortisol nmol/L 53+/- 42 140
17 OH Progest nmol/L 0.2+/- 0.3 0.8
Estradiol pmol/L 107+/- 38 180
Androstenadione nmol/L 6.6+/- 4.1 15
DHEAS nmol/L 10 +/- 9 28

The data in this table are from 26 normal ferrets, which
Karen Rosenthal sent to our lab for analysis. (See the
related report by Rosenthal and Peterson in JAVMA
209:1097-1102, 1996.)
The most important tests seem to be: estradiol,
androstenadione, 17 hydroxy Progesterone and DHEAS. The
cortisols are run if there is sufficient sample volume
Due to increased demand, the panel is run twice each month,
the first and third weeks. Completion of the panel requires
one full week: three days (starting on Tuesday) to run the
assay, plus one day to compile the results, check them for
accuracy, and provide interpretation. Results are faxed on
Friday or the following Monday, and are also mailed out.
We recently assayed (Dec 1997-Jan 1998) an additional 14
normal ferrets which provided data that closely correlate
with the data from Dr. Rosenthal. Additional studies are
planned in 1998 to further refine the expected normal
adrenal steroid hormone values in ferrets.
We receive samples from ferrets ranging in age from 6 months
to 8 years. So it is apparent that the disease can appear at
any time in a ferret's life. Hormonal patterns vary so the
best results are obtained by running the complete panel.
We will be compiling a journal article sometime in 1998
regarding retrospective results of ferret panels which were
submitted in 1997. We hope to include correlation of assay
results with histopathological findings where possible. This
will entail us contacting the individual vets who sent us
samples and asking for information from them.
According to Dr. Bruce Williams, DVM, on 3 Feb 1995:
Let me reiterate, that this test is mostly of use for
ferrets in which the signs of adrenal disease are
questionable. I would still recommend surgery alone for
cases of marked bilateral hair loss, or the presence of an
enlarged vulva in spayed ferrets. I don' think the test adds
any extra information to your diagnosis over these fairly
obvious clinical signs.
The cost to your vet for this test is $75. 0.5-1.0 cc of
serum is required. As a bonus, if the results are confusing
to your vet, Dr. [Karen] Rosenthal is available for
consultation and interpretation at (212) 838-8100