Case Description—2 Standardbred racehorses that had been winning races while competing as mares underwent postrace drug testing and had serum testosterone concentrations above the acceptable limit for female racehorses.
Clinical Findings—Initial physical examinations by the referring veterinarian revealed ambiguous external genitalia and suspected intra-abdominally located testes leading to a preliminary diagnosis of male pseudohermaphroditism. Horses were referred for further evaluation of sex. Physical examination of the external genitalia confirmed the findings of the referring veterinarian. Transrectal palpation and ultrasonography revealed gonads with an ultrasonographic appearance of testes. On cytogenetic analysis, both horses were determined to have a 64,XY karyotype and 8 intact Y chromosome markers and 5 SRY gene markers, which were indicative of a genetic male and confirmed an intersex condition. Additionally, both horses had some male-type behavior and endocrinologic findings consistent with those of sexually intact males.
Treatment and Outcome—Taken together, these findings confirmed that both horses were male pseudohermaphrodites. Both horses returned to racing competition as males.
Clinical Relevance—As of October 1, 2008, the Pennsylvania Horse and Harness Racing Commissions implemented a postrace drug testing policy that included analysis of blood samples for anabolic and androgenic steroids and set maximum allowable concentrations of testosterone for racing geldings and females. Within 8 months of initiation of this drug testing policy, the 2 horses of this report were identified as having an intersex condition. This raises the possibility that intersex conditions may be more common in racing Standardbreds than was previously suspected.
To compare progesterone (P4) concentrations measured with surface plasmon field-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (SPFS) and chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) in serum and plasma samples of client-owned bitches of various ages and breeds and to determine reference ranges for P4 concentrations at various stages of the estrous cycle.
102 serum samples and 104 plasma samples.
In experiment 1, 1 aliquot each of serum and plasma was analyzed for P4 concentration by use of SPFS incorporated in a veterinary-specific point-of-care immunologic analyzer and CLIA. In experiment 2, serum collected from bitches in various stages of the estrous cycle was analyzed for P4 concentration by use of SPFS to establish reference ranges for each stage.
In experiment 1, P4 concentrations measured by SPFS and CLIA were highly correlated (serum, r = 0.966; plasma, r = 0.968). In experiment 2, ranges of serum basal (proestrous) P4 concentrations (n = 114) and P4 concentrations at the estimated time of ovulation (76), during pregnancy or diestrus (107), and during the prepartum period (50) measured with SPFS were 0.42 to 1.46 ng/mL, 3.69 to 7.85 ng/mL, 11.73 to 28.24 ng/mL, and 1.54 to 3.22 ng/mL, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Because serum and plasma P4 concentrations measured with SPFS were highly correlated with those measured with CLIA and ranges of serum P4 concentrations measured with SPFS for each of phase of the estrous cycle were well-defined for the large sample size, veterinarians may be able to accurately use this veterinary-specific point-of-care immunologic analyzer with SPFS methodology to determine P4 concentrations of bitches in their daily practice.