Retrospective analysis of the effects of Blastomyces antigen concentration in urine and radiographic findings on survival in dogs with blastomycosis

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BACKGROUND: The Blastomyces antigen concentration in urine (BACU) test is used to diagnose blastomycosis and monitor treatment in dogs. It is unknown if a higher BACU is associated with shorter survival.

OBJECTIVES: To determine if the magnitude of BACU before treatment is associated with survival in dogs with blastomycosis.

ANIMALS: Fifty-two dogs with blastomycosis.

METHODS: Retrospective case review. BACU, radiographic lung severity (RLS) score (0-4 scale), and survival time up to 1 year after diagnosis were obtained through medical record review of dogs with Blastomyces dermatitidis.

RESULTS: The overall survival was: discharge, 87%; 1 week, 85%; 2 months, 74%; and 6 months, 69%. BACU correlated with RLS score (r s = 0.33, P = .02). BACU and RLS scores were lower in survivors to 2 months than nonsurvivors (average BACU difference of 2.5 ng/mL, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.2-4.8 ng/mL, P = .04; median RLS difference of 2; range, 0-4, P = .02). Dogs with BACU <5 ng/mL and dogs with mild (0-1) RLS scores had a greater proportion surviving than those with BACU >5 ng/mL (P = .03) and dogs with severe (3-4) RLS scores (P = .04). All dogs with a BACU <5 ng/mL or mild RLS score were alive at last follow-up (median, 365 days; range, 44-365 days). In all, 68.1% of other dogs survived to 2 months (95% CI, 54.8%-84.8%).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Dogs with lower BACU and RLS scores have improved survival; however, it is unclear what specific cutoffs should be used for prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-953
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding provided for partial support for Eva Furrow was provided by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), award number K01‐OD019912. An abstract of this work was presented at the 2019 ACVIM Forum, Phoenix, AZ. We acknowledge Dr Sara Obeiter for her assistance in data collection.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.


  • canine
  • prognosis
  • survival
  • systemic fungal infection
  • Blastomyces
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Blastomycosis/diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Dog Diseases/diagnostic imaging
  • Antigens, Fungal

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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