The aim of this prospective observational study was to evaluate the differences in plasma nitrate/nitrite concentrations between dogs with sepsis and those with non-infectious forms of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Eighteen dogs with sepsis, 20 dogs with SIRS and 29 healthy control dogs were enrolled. Blood samples were obtained from the dogs within 12 hours of admission to the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (MU VMTH) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in lithium heparin blood tubes. Plasma nitrate/nitrite concentrations were measured using the Greiss reaction. Plasma nitrate/nitrite concentrations at presentation, clinical parameters, organ dysfunction and in-hospital mortality were compared between groups. Plasma total nitrate/nitrite was significantly greater in the sepsis group compared with the control group (P=0.005) and SIRS group (P=0.037). There was no statistical difference in plasma nitrate/nitrite concentration between the SIRS and control groups (P=0.489). The sensitivity was 66.7 per cent (95 per cent CI, 41 to 87 per cent) and the specificity was 75.5 per cent (95 per cent CI, 61 to 87 per cent) for differentiating dogs with sepsis from dogs without sepsis.
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