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Prognostic value of measuring heart rate variability at the time of hospital admission in horses with colic

Valentina Vitale DVM, PhD1, Judit Viu DVM, PhD1, Lara Armengou DVM, PhD1,2, José Ríos MS3, and Eduard Jose-Cunilleras DVM, PhD1,2
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  • 1 1Servei de Medicina Interna Equina, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
  • | 2 2Unitat Equina, Fundació Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
  • | 3 3Unitat de Bioestadistica, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the prognostic value of measuring heart rate variability (HRV) in horses with colic at the time of admission to a referral hospital.

ANIMALS

51 horses > 1 year of age with colic (41 that survived [survivors] and 10 that died or were euthanized [nonsurvivors]).

PROCEDURES

HRV was recorded within 1 hour after admission by use of heart rate sensors with horses restrained in stocks. A 5-minute recording period was analyzed to obtain HRV measurements (eg, SD of R-R intervals [SDRR], root mean square of successive differences between R-R intervals [RMSSD], and geometric SDs determined from Poincaré plots [SD1 and SD2]). Variables associated with outcome (survival vs nonsurvival) were identified. Measurements were compared among diagnostic categories for colic (obstructive, inflammatory, or ischemic).

RESULTS

SDRR and RMSSD were significantly higher in survivors (median [25th to 75th percentile], 91.0 milliseconds [78.9 to 114.6 milliseconds] and 64.8 milliseconds [40.9 to 78.4 milliseconds], respectively) than in nonsurvivors (50.7 milliseconds [29.1 to 69.2 milliseconds] and 33.4 milliseconds [12.6 to 47.9 milliseconds], respectively). Similarly, SD1 and SD2 were significantly higher in survivors (48.3 milliseconds [28.9 to 60.9 milliseconds] and 111.3 milliseconds [93.0 to 146.6 milliseconds], respectively) than in nonsurvivors (23.7 milliseconds [8.9 to 33.9 milliseconds] and 65.1 milliseconds [33.7 to 91.9 milliseconds], respectively). The SDRR and SD2 were significantly higher for horses with obstructive colic than for horses with ischemic colic.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Analysis of HRV in horses with colic may provide information on the underlying cause and be helpful in identifying horses less likely to survive.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the prognostic value of measuring heart rate variability (HRV) in horses with colic at the time of admission to a referral hospital.

ANIMALS

51 horses > 1 year of age with colic (41 that survived [survivors] and 10 that died or were euthanized [nonsurvivors]).

PROCEDURES

HRV was recorded within 1 hour after admission by use of heart rate sensors with horses restrained in stocks. A 5-minute recording period was analyzed to obtain HRV measurements (eg, SD of R-R intervals [SDRR], root mean square of successive differences between R-R intervals [RMSSD], and geometric SDs determined from Poincaré plots [SD1 and SD2]). Variables associated with outcome (survival vs nonsurvival) were identified. Measurements were compared among diagnostic categories for colic (obstructive, inflammatory, or ischemic).

RESULTS

SDRR and RMSSD were significantly higher in survivors (median [25th to 75th percentile], 91.0 milliseconds [78.9 to 114.6 milliseconds] and 64.8 milliseconds [40.9 to 78.4 milliseconds], respectively) than in nonsurvivors (50.7 milliseconds [29.1 to 69.2 milliseconds] and 33.4 milliseconds [12.6 to 47.9 milliseconds], respectively). Similarly, SD1 and SD2 were significantly higher in survivors (48.3 milliseconds [28.9 to 60.9 milliseconds] and 111.3 milliseconds [93.0 to 146.6 milliseconds], respectively) than in nonsurvivors (23.7 milliseconds [8.9 to 33.9 milliseconds] and 65.1 milliseconds [33.7 to 91.9 milliseconds], respectively). The SDRR and SD2 were significantly higher for horses with obstructive colic than for horses with ischemic colic.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Analysis of HRV in horses with colic may provide information on the underlying cause and be helpful in identifying horses less likely to survive.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Vitale's present address is University Teaching Hospital, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camden, NSW, Australia.

Dr. Viu's present address is Hospital Veterinario, Sierra de Madrid, 28750 San Agustín de Guadalix, Madrid, Spain.

Address correspondence to Dr. Jose-Cunilleras (eduard.jose.cunilleras@uab.cat).