Objective—To determine prevalence of myocardial injury in horses with colic on the basis of high concentrations of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), frequency of cardiac arrhythmias within the first 24 to 48 hours after hospital admission or surgery because of colic, and associations between high cTnI concentrations and cardiac arrhythmias, clinical course, and outcome (survival to discharge from hospital vs nonsurvival [death or euthanasia]).
Design—Prospective observational study.
Animals—111 horses with colic.
Procedures—Blood was drawn at admission and 12 and 24 hours after admission if horses were treated medically or 12 and 24 hours after surgery if treated surgically. A 24-hour ambulatory ECG was recorded beginning the morning after admission in medically treated cases or after surgery and evaluated for arrhythmias. Clinical and clinicopathologic data and outcome were obtained. Associations between cTnI concentrations and other variables were determined.
Results—An abnormal cTnI concentration (≥ 0.10 ng/mL) at admission was significantly associated with the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias, outcome, and surgical treatment.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The data suggested that horses with colic and high cTnI concentrations at admission were more likely to have ventricular arrhythmias and have a less favorable prognosis for recovery. High cTnI concentrations in horses with colic were suggestive of myocardial damage.