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Objective—To develop a high-speed, continuous-flow, automated plasmapheresis procedure for the high-volume harvest of equine plasma in accordance with current good manufacturing practice.

Animals—143 horses (predominantly draft breeds) between 3 and 10 years of age at the time of purchase.

Procedures—Adaptations were made to automated plasmapheresis instruments and sterile disposable collection sets, which allowed for dual-instrument, continuous-flow operation. Donor horses were connected to the apparatus via 2 catheters (1 inserted in each jugular vein). The instruments removed whole blood from donors, fractionated the blood, diverted plasma to collection bags, and simultaneously returned concentrated cells to the donors. Plasmapheresis was performed on donor horses at 14-day intervals with a maximum of 22 mL of plasma/kg of donor body weight harvested during each plasmapheresis procedure.

Results—During a 5-year period, 3,240 plasmapheresis procedures were performed and > 50,000 L of sterile equine plasma was harvested in accordance with current good manufacturing practice. Donors typically remained calm during the plasmapheresis procedures and tolerated the procedures well. The high-volume and frequent plasma harvest did not result in sustained hypoproteinemia in donor horses. Adverse events associated with the automated plasmapheresis technique were infrequent, and the recurrence of adverse events was minimized by making minor adjustments to the procedure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The automated plasmapheresis procedure described in this report can be used to safely harvest equine plasma or to perform therapeutic plasmapheresis in horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effects of intensive serial plasmapheresis on total plasma protein and total IgG concentrations in donor horses involved in a plasmapheresis program.

Animals—18 horses (13 mares and 5 geldings; 13 Belgians, 3 Percherons, 1 Standardbred, and 1 warmblood) ranging from 7 to 14 years of age (mean ± SD, 10 ± 3 years) and weighing 822 ± 128 kg.

Procedures—Horses from which 22 mL of plasma/kg of donor body weight was harvested at 14-day intervals for a minimum of 8 consecutive plasmapheresis donations were retrospectively selected for use in the evaluation. Automated plasmapheresis procedures were performed by use of 2 modified plasmapheresis instruments/donor horse. Plasma samples were obtained at each donation and used for determination of total protein and total IgG concentrations. Total plasma protein concentrations were determined via refractometry. A commercially available ELISA was used to determine total equine IgG concentrations.

Results—The 18 donor horses were used in 8 to 19 serial donations (mean ± SD, 13 ± 3 donations) during the study. Donor horses had significant decreases in both plasma protein and IgG concentrations over the study period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serial plasmapheresis procedures caused significant decreases in both plasma protein and IgG concentrations in donor horses; however, decreases were not physiologically relevant. Performing plasmapheresis in horses in accordance with the evaluated automated plasmapheresis procedures did not result in a critical decrease in total plasma protein or total IgG concentrations.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the cardiopulmonary and clinicopathologic effects of rapid IV administration of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in awake and halothaneanesthetized horses.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—6 adult horses.

Procedures—Horses received IV infusion of 5 L of a balanced electrolyte solution with and without 1 g/kg (0.45 g/lb) of 10% DMSO solution when they were awake and anesthetized with halothane (4 treatments/ horse). Arterial and venous blood samples were collected immediately before and at intervals during or after fluid administration and analyzed for blood gases and hematologic and serum biochemical variables, respectively. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and arterial blood pressure variables were recorded prior to, during, and after fluid administration.

Results—After administration of fluid with or without DMSO, changes in measured variables were detected immediately, but most variables returned to baseline values within 4 hours. One awake control horse had signs of anxiety; agitation and tachycardia were detected in 2 awake horses administered DMSO. These clinical signs disappeared when the rate of infusion was reduced. In anesthetized horses, increased concentrations of WBCs and plasma fibrinogen and serum creatine kinase activity persisted for 24 hours, which was related to the stress of anesthesia more than the effects of fluid administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Infusion of 5 L of balanced electrolyte solution with or without 10% DMSO induced minimal changes in cardiopulmonary function and clinicopathologic variables in either awake or halothane-anesthetized horses. Stress associated with anesthesia and recovery had a greater influence on measured variables in anesthetized horses than fluid administration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:560–566)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine intravascular and intrasynovial pharmacokinetics of the R and S enantiomers of ketoprofen after IV and IM administration to horses.


6 healthy adult mares.


Horses were weighed and ketoprofen (2.2 mg/kg of body weight) was administered IV. Blood and synovial fluid samples were obtained and analyzed for concentrations of the R and S enantiomers by means of a modified reverse-phase stereospecific high-pressure liquid chromatographic method. Three weeks later, the procedure was repeated, except that ketoprofen was given IM. Protein binding of ketoprofen enantiomers was determined by means of ultrafiltration. Nonlinear least squares methods were used to calculate pharmacokinetic parameters.


Data obtained after IV administration best fit an open, two-compartment model. Mean ± SD S-to-R serum concentration ratios after IV and IM administration were 1.36 ± 0.214 and 1.34 ± 0.245, respectively. Intrasynovial concentrations of the R and S enantiomers of ketoprofen could be measured for only the first 3 hours after IV administration; concentrations were less than the limit of quantification by 4 hours after IV administration and at all times after IM administration. Extent of protein binding of the R enantiomer was not significantly different from extent of protein binding of the S enantiomer; extent of protein binding did not appear to be concentration dependent. Mean free S-to-free R serum concentration ratios, adjusted for protein binding, after IV and IM administration were 1.58 and 1.56, respectively.


The R and S enantiomers of ketoprofen are rapidly absorbed and eliminated, have low volumes of distribution, and are highly protein bound. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:739-743)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To develop a topical sildenafil hydrogel and evaluate its effect on wound healing in dogs.


6 purpose-bred, sexually intact, adult Beagles.


Hydrogels containing sildenafil citrate, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, propylene glycol, and poloxamer 407 were developed. Four excision wounds were created along the dorsum of the dogs. Each wound was treated for 21 days with a nonadherent bandage (C) or with a hydrogel containing 0% (G), 5% (5S), or 10% (10S) sildenafil. Daily bandage changes with wound imaging were performed. Biopsy specimens were collected 5 times.


Hydrogels were homogenous at room temperature and released > 90% of the sildenafil within 8 hours in vitro. Time to first granulation tissue was significantly shorter for the sildenafil groups (mean ± SD, 2.8 ± 0.8 days [5S and 10S]), compared with the control groups (5.2 ± 0.4 days [C] and 6.3 ± 1.4 days [G]). The G wounds had a 10% to 14% lower contraction rate, compared with the C, 5S, and 10S wounds. 5S wounds had a total wound area 0.7 ± 0.3 cm2 larger than 10S wounds. No significant differences were present when C wounds were compared with 5S and 10S wounds for total wound area, contraction, or epithelialization. Histologic acute inflammatory scores were higher for 5S and 10S wounds in the early and late stages of wound healing, with higher reparative scores on day 7. Neovascularization was higher for 10S wounds on day 7 and 14.


The topical sildenafil hydrogel promoted early granulation tissue, which may be beneficial for secondary wound closure in clinical settings.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research