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Summary

The hypothesis that equine laminitis is caused by thrombosis of vessels in the laminar corium (dermis) was investigated. Hemostatic alterations were evaluated by determining platelet count, platelet survival, platelet adhesiveness to vascular subendothelium, activated clotting time, and whole blood recalcification time. Thrombosis of vessels in the hoof wall was evaluated by scintigraphic studies of the hoof wall after administration of indium-111 (111In)-labeled platelets, contrast arteriography, and histologic examination. Platelet count remained constant before and at the onset of lameness; however, survival of 111In-labeled platelets was shortened. Scintigraphy of affected feet revealed accumulation of 111In-labeled platelets distal to the coronary band. Arteriography of disarticulated saline-perfused feet revealed marked reduction in blood supply to affected hooves. Histologic examination of the laminar dermis disclosed variable numbers of microthrombi in dermal veins of affected feet from 3 of 4 ponies with laminitis. Whole blood recalcification time was shortened at 8 hours after administration of carbohydrate and was prolonged at the onset of laminitis. Activated clotting time was prolonged at 32 hours after carbohydrate administration and at the onset of lameness. Plasma endotoxin-like activity was detected in 1 of 4 affected ponies. These data confirm that microvascular thrombosis existed at the onset of lameness in ponies with carbohydrate-induced laminitis and indicate that systemic coagulopathy may have preceded development of thrombosis.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Prothrombotic changes occurring in the prodromal stages of carbohydrate-induced laminitis were investigated. Hemostatic alterations were evaluated by determining platelet counts, platelet survival, activated partial thromboplastin time, one-stage prothrombin time, and monocyte procoagulant activity. Thrombosis of vessels in the hoof wall was evaluated by contrast arteriography and histologic examination. Of 5 horses, 4 became lame between 28 and 52 hours after carbohydrate administration. Mean platelet count in laminitis-affected horses was lower throughout the prodromal stages of laminitis, compared with that in control horses, but differences were not statistically significant. However, survival of indium-111-labeled platelets was less than the value in control horses by 6 hours after carbohydrate administration. Arteriography of disarticulated feet revealed marked reduction in blood supply to hooves in laminitis-affected horses. Histologic examination of the laminar dermis disclosed microthrombi in venules of the laminar dermis in 2 of 4 affected horses. Statistically significant changes in prothrombin time were not observed, and changes in activated partial thromboplastin time were slight and occurred only at the onset of lameness. Statistically significant changes in monocyte procoagulant activity were not observed. Plasma endotoxin-like activity was not detected in laminitis-affected horses. These data indicate that platelet survival was decreased within the first 6 hours after induction of carbohydrate-induced laminitis, but systemic activation of the coagulation system was not detected.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research