Diagnostic performance of inflammatory markers in gopher tortoises (gopherus polyphemus)

Justin F. Rosenberg, Jorge A. Hernandez, James F.X. Wellehan, Sarah E. Crevasse, Carolyn Cray, Nicole I. Stacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The lack of sensitive and specific markers of inflammation poses a diagnostic challenge in sick or injured reptile patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the diagnostic performance of blood analytes associated with inflammation in healthy (n = 24) and sick (n = 38) gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). Receiver operating characteristic analysis identified the following as the best-performing diagnostic tests: erythrocyte sedimentation rate (area under the curve AUC = 0.812; 95% confidence interval CI = 0.693, 0.900), absolute mature heterophils (AUC = 0.771; 95% CI = 0.646, 0.869), total leukocytes (AUC = 0.767; 95% CI = 0.642, 0.866), lactate (AUC = 0.766; 95% CI = 0.641, 0.864), and absolute immature heterophils (AUC = 0.755; 95% CI = 0.628, 0.856). These results support the clinical application of additional tools for the diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory disease in gopher tortoises. Clinicians may consider adding erythrocyte sedimentation rate and lactate to the minimum database for this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-769
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Diagnostic performance
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Gopher tortoise
  • Gopherus polyphemus
  • Hematology
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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