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To determine normal CSF electrophoresis patterns in horses, and to determine whether the electrophoretic scans from horses with cervical compression differ from those of neurologically normal horses.


32 horses assigned to 1 of 2 groups: neurologically normal (n = 18) or cervical compression (n = 14).


CSF was collected from 18 neurologically normal horses referred to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, and protein electrophoresis was performed to describe the normal equine CSF electrophoretogram. Results of CSF electrophoresis from 14 horses with cervical compression were then compared with results for the neurologically normal horses.


Horses with cervical compression had decreased β-globulin fraction, and 1 or 2 prominent post-β2 peak(s). When the presence of post-β peaks was used as a diagnostic criterion for cervical compression, the test had sensitivity of 71.4% and specificity of 81.8%, The positive and negative predictive values were 83.3 and 69.2%, respectively.

Conclusion and Clinical Implications

Electrophoresis of CSF may be a useful diagnostic aid in evaluation of horses with neurologic disease. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:939–941)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research