Immunosignature Differentiation of Feline Alimentary Lymphoma and Inflammatory Bowel Disease


This study will determine if a blood Immunosignature profile can be used in cats to non-invasively distinguish between GI lymphoma and inflammatory bowel disease.


Cats are plagued by a variety chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as IBD and lymphoma. Unfortunately many of these disorders have very similar symptoms, like loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. A trial-and-error approach with dietary changes, antibiotics, or anti-inflammatory medications is helpful in relieving symptoms in some patients. However, a large number of cats fail to respond to this palliative approach. In these non-responders, stomach and intestinal biopsies are often necessary to determine the underlying cause and optimize treatment. This more invasive approach is associated with greater cost both in risk of medical complications for the cat and financially for the owner. Since treatment and outcome is different for IBD and lymphoma, it would be helpful to have a noninvasive test that could identify these two diseases and avoid the associated costs of a biopsy procedure. This study seeks to develop such a test. The unique pattern of blood proteins present in these patients will be determined using protein microarray. We hope the unique pattern for the two disorders can then be used to provide a safer, faster, and more reliable means for diagnosing the causes of GI disease in cats.


  • Cats must be over 6 months of age
  • GI biopsy confirmed diagnosis of GI lymphoma or IBD
  • CBC and blood chemistry results

Exclusion Criteria

  • Significant renal or liver disease

Study Design

Research blood and fecal samples must be collected at time of GI biopsy and frozen while awaiting biopsy results.


A $280 payment will be issued after copies of GI biopsy results, consent forms, screening blood work and research samples (blood and feces) have been submitted to our laboratory. Please consult with your veterinarian for actual cost of care, diagnosis and treatment of your pet, which will typically exceed study compensation.


Ms. Mindy Quigley, Clinical Trials Coordinator
Office Phone: 540-231-1363 | Email:

Dr. Kurt Zimmerman, Associate Professor, Pathology/Informatics, Principal Investigator
Office Phone: 540-231-4621 | Email:

If your query is urgent, please call the Small Animal Hospital on 540-231-4621 and ask for the internal medicine specialist on duty.