Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

The Reibergram for immunoglobulin A in dogs : evaluation of intrathecal IgA synthesis using a quotient graph in dogs with neurological diseases


Increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein concentration is a common finding in neurological diseases of dogs. Distinguishing between intrathecally-produced proteins and proteins that have passed the blood-CSF barrier because of barrier disruption facilitates diagnosis. Albumin is a microprotein mainly produced extrathecally that can be used as a reference marker for blood-CSF barrier dysfunction.


Develop a quotient graph based on the CSF/serum quotient of albumin and immunoglobulin A (IgA; Reibergram) to visualize intrathecal IgA synthesis and blood-CSF barrier dysfunction.

Animals and methods

Retrospective single-center cohort study. A hyperbolic function was developed using data from 6 healthy Beagles and 38 dogs with neurological diseases in which an isolated blood-CSF barrier dysfunction was expected. The function was validated using data from 10 dogs with expected intrathecal IgA synthesis and was visualized as a quotient graph. Finally, the graph was used to evaluate data of 118 dogs with various neurological diseases.


Within the Reibergram, the function QLimIgA=0.13QAlb2+11.9·10-6-1.01·10-3 describes the upper values of physiological IgA quotients. It detects diseases with expected intrathecal IgA synthesis with higher sensitivity (85%) and specificity (89%) than the IgA index. The upper value of the physiological albumin quotient is 2.22 and detects diseases with expected blood-CSF barrier dysfunction (sensitivity: 81%; specificity: 88%).

Conclusion and clinical importance

The canine Reibergram can detect blood-CSF barrier dysfunction and intrathecal IgA synthesis in the majority of cases. The graphical visualization simplifies data evaluation and makes it a feasible tool in routine CSF diagnostic testing.


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