Objective—To evaluate the performance of a chemiluminescent endotoxin activity assay in horses with colic and healthy horses.
Animals—20 horses with colic and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS group), 8 horses with colic with no SIRS (NSIRS group), and 20 healthy horses.
Procedures—Venous blood was collected into EDTA blood collection tubes after completion of a physical examination, and a chemiluminescent endotoxin activity assay was performed within 60 minutes of collection. Medical or surgical interventions and outcome were recorded for each horse.
Results—Mean ± SE endotoxin activity was 0.16 ± 0.05 for healthy horses, 0.18 ± 0.07 for the NSIRS group, and 0.53 ± 0.05 for the SIRS group and was significantly different among the groups. Mean endotoxin activity was significantly higher in the SIRS group than in the NSIRS group and the healthy group. No significant difference between the healthy and NSIRS groups was present. The higher the measured endotoxin activity, the more likely it was for horses to be euthanized.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The chemiluminescent endotoxin assay was easy to use, required a short time to perform, could be completed at the patient's side, and with some modifications, may be a useful component in the clinical assessment and prognostication of horses with colic.