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  • Author or Editor: Liara M. Gonzalez x
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OBJECTIVE To characterize epithelial cells of the small intestine and colon in horses without clinical gastrointestinal abnormalities with an emphasis on the stem cell niche constituents.

SAMPLE Mucosal biopsy specimens from small and large intestines obtained from 12 horses euthanized for reasons unrelated to gastrointestinal disease or systemic disease.

PROCEDURES Intestinal biopsy specimens were collected by sharp dissection immediately following euthanasia. Specimens were prepared for immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence, and transmission electron microscopic imaging to detect and characterize each epithelial cell type. Antibodies against protein biomarkers for cellular identification were selected on the basis of expression in other mammalian species.

RESULTS Intestinal epithelial cell types were identified by means of immunostaining and morphological characterization with transmission electron microscopy. Some differences in biomarker expression and antibody cross-reactivity were identified in equine tissue, compared with other species. However, each known type of mucosal epithelial cell was identified in equine tissue.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The methodology used can enhance detection of stem cells and progenitor cells as well as postmitotic cell lineages in equine intestinal tissues. Results may have relevance to regenerative potential of intestinal mucosa and survival in horses with colic.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine the degree of histomorphometric damage in dorsal colon and pelvic flexure biopsy specimens (DCBSs and PFBSs, respectively) obtained from horses with large colon volvulus (LCV) and assess the accuracy of predicting short-term outcome for those horses on the basis of DCBS or PFBS characteristics.


18 horses with ≥ 360° LCV that underwent large colon resection.


During surgery, biopsy specimens from the dorsal colon resection site and the pelvic flexure (when available) were collected from each horse. Interstitial-to-crypt (I:C) ratio (ratio of the lamina propria space occupied by the interstitium to that occupied by crypts), hemorrhage within the lamina propria (mucosal hemorrhage score [MHS] from 0 to 4), and percentage losses of glandular and luminal epithelium were determined in paired biopsy specimens and compared to determine optimal cutoff values for calculating the accuracy of DCBS and PFBS characteristics to predict short-term outcome (survival or nonsurvival after recovery from surgery).


Paired biopsy specimens were obtained from 17 of the 18 horses. The I:C ratio and percentage glandular epithelial loss differed between DCBSs and PFBSs. For DCBSs, an I:C ratio ≥ 0.9 and MHS ≥ 3 each predicted patient nonsurvival with 77.8% accuracy. For PFBSs, an I:C ratio ≥ I and MHS ≥ 3 predicted patient nonsurvival with 70.6% and 82.4% accuracy, respectively.


Although different, histomorphometric measurements for either DCBSs or PFBSs could be used to accurately predict short-term outcome for horses with LCV that underwent large colon resection, and arguably PFBSs are easier to collect.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To objectively measure the current demographic makeup of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) diplomates and to develop a survey tool to be used as a metric to measure future changes in the ACVS demographic profile.


737 ACVS diplomates.


A 14-item electronic survey was sent to 2,199 ACVS diplomates between August 25 and September 9, 2021, via email. Survey items included demographic information as well as perceptions about the ACVS and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Responses were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed.


The survey response rate was 34% (737/2,199). The median age category among respondents was 45 to 54. The median years in practice as a diplomate was 11 to 15. The majority of respondents identified as white/Caucasian and heterosexual, with male and female respondents being similarly represented. Most respondents identified English as their first language. Few considered themselves first-generation college graduates or identified as disabled. Many respondents considered DEI to be an important initiative to promote in the ACVS.


Findings suggested that the majority of ACVS respondents are supportive of DEI efforts. This study also serves as an objective analysis that can be reassessed in the future to determine the success of such initiatives.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association