Objective—To evaluate the effect of IV administration of polymyxin B on clinical and serum biochemical variables in foals with experimental endotoxemia.
Design—Prospective experimental study.
Animals—14 healthy neonatal foals.
Procedures—Foals were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group and were administered a single dose of lipopolysaccharide (0.5 μg/kg [0.23 μg/lb]) IV over 30 minutes. The treatment group received polymyxin B (6,000 U/kg [2,727 U/lb], IV) immediately after completion of lipopolysaccharide infusion; the control group was administered an equal volume of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Subsequent doses of polymyxin B or saline solution were administered IV at 8 and 16 hours. Blood was collected at various time points, and outcome variables, including heart rate, respiratory rate, rectal temperature, attitude score, WBC count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, monocyte count, platelet count, Hct, blood lactate concentration, blood glucose concentration, serum tumor necrosis factor-α concentration, and plasma thromboxane B2 concentration, were measured. Urine was collected prior to and after experimentation to determine whether nephrotoxicosis was associated with treatment.
Results—The treatment group had significantly lower blood lactate concentration and serum tumor necrosis factor-α and plasma thromboxane B2 concentrations and had higher blood glucose concentrations and better attitude scores, compared with the control group, at various time points during the study. No other significant differences and no evidence of overt nephrotoxicosis were detected.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of polymyxin B IV in healthy neonatal foals challenged with lipopolysaccharide attenuated some clinical and serum biochemical derangements associated with endotoxemia.