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Evaluation of the correlation between serum biochemical values and liver ultrasonographic indices in periparturient cows with different body condition scores

Saman Rafia DVM, DVSc1, Taghi Taghipour-Bazargani DVM, MSc2, Farzad Asadi DVM, PhD3, Alireza Vajhi DVM, DVSc4, and Saied Bokaie DVM, PhD5
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran 14155-6453.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran 14155-6453.
  • | 3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran 14155-6453.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran 14155-6453.
  • | 5 Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran 14155-6453.

Abstract

Objective—To determine alterations of serum biochemical variables in relation to changes of near- and far-field mean grayscale histogram (MGSH) and attenuation rates in liver ultrasonograms of periparturient cows.

Animals—67 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Cows were allocated on the basis of body condition score into underconditioned (n = 21), moderately conditioned (23), and overconditioned (23) groups. Serum samples (obtained every 10 days from 30 days before to 30 days after calving) were analyzed for aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and γ-glutamyltransferase activities and BUN, albumin, calcium, and inorganic phosphorus concentrations along with digital estimation of near- and far-field MGSH values of liver ultrasonograms and deep attenuation. Values were compared among groups and within each group, and their correlations were determined in the pre- and postpartum periods.

Results—Serum biochemical variables did not differ significantly among groups. Aspartate aminotransferase and γ-glutamyltransferase activities increased in the postpartum period. Fluctuations of alanine aminotransferase activity were not significant; BUN decreased significantly in the peripartum period. Albumin concentration decreased prior to parturition and remained low, but significantly increased after parturition. Calcium concentration decreased on day 10 but subsequently increased. Phosphorus concentration decreased stepwise until day 10 after calving. Postpartum biochemical variables had weak correlations with near- and far-field MGSH values in overconditioned cows. The highest levels of sound attenuation were found in overconditioned cows on calving day.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Liver ultrasonographic features were poorly correlated with changes of serum biochemical variables. This suggests that liver ultrasonography is not a good technique for estimating functional liver abnormalities in periparturient cows.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Address correspondence to Dr. Rafia (sam_rafia@yahoo.com).