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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate horses with atrial fibrillation for hypercoagulability; plasma D-dimer concentrations, as a marker of a procoagulant state; and a relationship between coagulation profile results and duration of atrial fibrillation or presence of structural heart disease.

DESIGN Case-control study.

ANIMALS Plasma samples from 42 horses (25 with atrial fibrillation and 17 without cardiovascular or systemic disease [control group]).

PROCEDURES Results of hematologic tests (ie, plasma fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations, prothrombin and activated partial thromboplastin times, and antithrombin activity) in horses were recorded to assess coagulation and fibrinolysis. Historical and clinical variables, as associated with a hypercoagulable state in other species, were also recorded.

RESULTS Horses with atrial fibrillation and control horses lacked clinical signs of hypercoagulation or thromboembolism. Compared with control horses, horses with atrial fibrillation had significantly lower antithrombin activity. No significant differences in plasma fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations and prothrombin and activated partial thromboplastin times existed between horse groups. In horses with atrial fibrillation versus control horses, a significantly larger proportion had an abnormal plasma D-dimer concentration (10/25 vs 2/17), test results indicative of subclinical activated coagulation (18/25 vs 6/17), or abnormal coagulation test results (25/121 vs 7/85), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Horses with atrial fibrillation did not have clinical evidence of a hypercoagulable state, but a higher proportion of horses with atrial fibrillation, compared with control horses, did have subclinical activated coagulation on the basis of standard coagulation test results.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of dexamethasone on development of IgG subclass responses following vaccination of healthy horses.

Animals—11 mature Thoroughbreds.

Procedure—Horses received 2 IM injections at 2- week intervals of a vaccine containing inactivated infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine viral diarrhea, and parainfluenza-3 viral antigens and were then randomly assigned to 2 groups. Six horses received dexamethasone (0.2 mg/kg of body weight, IM) twice weekly for 8 weeks starting the day of the first vaccination. Five control horses received an equivalent volume of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Antigen-specific serum IgG subclass titers were determined weekly after vaccination by use of an ELISA.

Results—Vaccination resulted in similar antigen-specific serum IgG(T) titers in dexamethasone-treated and control horses. In contrast, although control horses developed IgGa and IgGb responses after vaccination, corticosteroid administration completely inhibited these responses in treated horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cortico steroids can have profound effects on primary immune responses in horses and can significantly affect IgG responses to inactivated vaccines. Corticosteroid treatment regimens commonly used to treat diseases in horses may result induction of a nonprotective IgG subclass response, leaving treated horses susceptible to disease. Additionally, mechanisms regulating IgGa and IgGb responses appear to differ from those regulating IgG(T) responses. Further defining these mechanisms is a critical step in designing effective vaccines, and corticosteroid-induced immunomodulation may be a valuable tool for studying immune responses in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1530–1533)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe the prognosis and clinical, echocardiographic, and pathological features of hypertensive cardiomyopathy in horses.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—5 horses with cardiac hypertrophy and systemic hypertension.

Procedures—Demographics, history, physical and cardiological examination findings, diagnosis, clinical progression, prognosis, and pathological findings were obtained from medical records.

Results—The primary diagnosis was chronic laminitis in 3 horses and chronic renal failure in 2. Persistent tachycardia, hypertension, chronic laminitis, or a combination of these prompted the cardiac evaluations. Blood pressure values (median [range]), measured noninvasively, were determined as 190 mm Hg (183 to 261 mm Hg) for systolic pressure, 126 mm Hg (100 to 190 mm Hg) for diastolic pressure, and 155 mm Hg (126 to 222 mm Hg) for mean pressure. No arrhythmias were reported. For the left ventricle, all horses had increased relative wall thickness, mean wall thickness, and ventricular mass. The interventricular septum was thickened at end diastole (n = 5) and in peak systole (4). The left ventricular internal diameter was small at end diastole (n = 4) and in peak systole (3). The left ventricular free wall was thickened at end diastole (n = 3) and in peak systole (4). No associations between blood pressure and variables consistent with hypertrophy were detected. All horses were euthanized because of the grave prognosis of the primary diseases. All 3 horses that underwent postmortem evaluation had cardiovascular abnormalities.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hypertensive cardiomyopathy should be considered as a comorbid diagnosis in horses with laminitis or chronic renal failure. Information about the development, progression, reversibility, importance of early detection, and long-term sequelae of this condition is needed.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association