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Objective—To investigate the effects of a continuous rate infusion (CRI) of dextrose solution or dextrose solution and insulin on glucose and insulin concentrations in healthy and endotoxin-exposed horses.

Animals—9 adult mares.

Procedures—During phase 1, treatments consisted of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control group; n = 4) or 20% dextrose solution (group 1; 4) administered IV as a 360-minute CRI. During phase 2, treatments consisted of 360-minute CRIs of 20% dextrose solution and insulin administered simultaneously at 367.6 mg/kg/h (30 kcal/kg/d) and 0.07 U/kg/h, respectively, in healthy horses (group 2; n = 4) or horses administered 35 ng of lipopolysaccharide/kg, IV, 24 hours before starting the dextrose solution and insulin CRIs (group 3; 4). A balanced crossover study design was used in both phases. Blood samples were collected for measurement of plasma glucose and insulin concentrations.

Results—Infusion of dextrose solution alone resulted in hyperglycemia for most of the 360-minute CRI. Insulin concentration increased significantly in group 1, compared with that in the control group. Mean insulin concentration of group 2 was significantly higher throughout most of the infusion period, compared with concentrations of the control group and group 1. Mean glucose concentration did not differ significantly between groups 2 and 3.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Insulin infusion at a rate of 0.07 U/kg/h was found to be effective for the prevention of hyperglycemia when administered concurrently with dextrose solution. This rate was considered to be safe because horses did not become hypoglycemic during infusions of dextrose solution.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research