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Objective—To determine serum amyloid A (SAA) concentrations in serum and synovial fluid from healthy horses and horses with joint disease and assess the effect of repeated arthrocentesis on SAA concentrations in synovial fluid.

Animals—10 healthy horses and 21 horses with various types of joint disease.

Procedures—Serum and synovial fluid samples were obtained from each horse. In 5 of the 10 healthy horses, arthrocentesis was repeated 9 times. Concentrations of SAA were determined via immunoturbidometry.

Results—Serum and synovial fluid SAA concentrations were less than the assay detection limit in healthy horses and did not change in response to repeated arthrocentesis. Synovial fluid SAA concentrations were significantly higher in horses with suspected bacterial joint contamination or infectious arthritis, or tenovaginitis than in healthy controls, and serum concentrations were significantly higher in horses with infectious conditions than in the other groups. Neither serum nor synovial fluid SAA concentrations in horses with low-inflammation joint conditions differed significantly from those in healthy controls. Concentrations of SAA and total protein in synovial fluid were significantly correlated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Synovial fluid SAA concentration was a good marker of infectious arthritis and tenovaginitis and appeared to reflect changes in inflammatory activity. The advantages of use of SAA as a marker include the ease and speed of measurement and the fact that concentrations in synovial fluid were not influenced by repeated arthrocentesis in healthy horses. Further study of the SAA response in osteoarthritic joints to assess its usefulness in diagnosis and monitoring of osteoarthritis is warranted.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To purify and characterize equine vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) from equine serum and to evaluate plasma concentrations of VDBP in healthy horses and horses with gastrointestinal injury or disease.

ANIMALS 13 healthy laboratory animals (8 mice and 5 rabbits), 61 healthy horses, 12 horses with experimentally induced intestinal ischemia and reperfusion (IR), and 59 horses with acute gastrointestinal diseases.

PROCEDURES VDBP was purified from serum of 2 healthy horses, and recombinant equine VDBP was obtained through a commercial service. Equine VDBP was characterized by mass spectrometry. Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies were raised against equine VDBP, and a rocket immunoelectrophoresis assay for equine VDBP was established. Plasma samples from 61 healthy horses were used to establish working VDBP reference values for study purposes. Plasma VDBP concentrations were assessed at predetermined time points in horses with IR and in horses with naturally occurring gastrointestinal diseases.

RESULTS The working reference range for plasma VDBP concentration in healthy horses was 531 to 1,382 mg/L. Plasma VDBP concentrations were significantly decreased after 1 hour of ischemia in horses with IR, compared with values prior to induction of ischemia, and were significantly lower in horses with naturally occurring gastrointestinal diseases with a colic duration of < 12 hours than in healthy horses.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Plasma VDBP concentrations were significantly decreased in horses with acute gastrointestinal injury or disease. Further studies and the development of a clinically relevant assay are needed to establish the reliability of VDBP as a diagnostic and prognostic marker in horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research