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Summary

Medical records from all horses with large colon impaction admitted between 1985 and 1991 were examined. Large colon impaction was diagnosed in 147 of 1,100 (13.4%) horses with colic. One hundred thirty horses were admitted for further evaluation of acute onset of abdominal pain after having been examined and treated by referring veterinarians, and 17 horses that were hospitalized for unrelated medical problems developed large colon impaction. Female horses (92/ 147; 62.6%) were more commonly affected than males. The age ranged from 1 to 29 years (median, 7.1 years). Mean duration of clinical signs of abdominal pain prior to referral was 32 hours. At admittance, signs of abdominal pain were not detectable in 70/147 (48%) horses, and were mild in 50 34%), moderate in 16 (11%), and severe in 11 (7%). Heart rate ranged from 30 to 86 beats/min (median, 44 beats/min), and most horses had a decrease in gastrointestinal sounds. Transrectal palpation was used to identify the impaction location as being the pelvic flexure in 103 (70.1%) horses, colon on the left side in 30 (20.4%) horses, and colon on the right side in 14 (9.5%) horses. All 147 horses received fluids iv and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or sedatives, including flunixin meglumine (124 horses, 84.3%) xylazine hydrochloride (81, 55%), butorphanol (6, 0.04%), and detomidine hydrochloride (9, 0.04%). Duration of medical treatment required to resolve the impaction ranged from 1 to 6 days (mean, 2 days). In addition to medical treatment, 24 (16.3%) horses also required surgery.

Analysis of results of examinations performed at the time of admission revealed significant (P < 0.05) differences for heart rate, respiratory rate, number of wbc, blood lactate concentration, and total protein concentration in peritoneal fluid between horses that lived vs horses that died or were euthanatized. Horses that had surgery had a significantly (P < 0.05) higher fatality rate. Long-term survival rate was higher (P $ 0.05) for horses treated medically.

Most horses with large colon impaction can be treated medically, and those horses have a good prognosis. Surgery usually is not necessary and may pose additional risks because of the possibility of bowel rupture during the operation.

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

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether intraluminal distention and subsequent decompression of the equine jejunum affects intestinal blood flow, hemodynamics, and microvascular permeability.

Animals—5 healthy adult horses.

Procedure—Horses were anesthestized and underwent exploratory laparotomy. Two jejunal segments were identified as sham-operated or instrumented segments. After baseline values were obtained, intraluminal distention was created in the experimental segment to induce an intraluminal pressure of 18 cm H2O. After 120 minutes of distention, the intestine was decompressed for 120 minutes. Mesenteric blood flow, oxygen delivery, oxygen consumption, microvascular permeability, wet weight-to-dry weight ratio, neutrophil infiltration, and vascular resistance were determined and comparisons made among control, sham-operated, and experimental segments.

Results—Mean jejunal blood flow was 21.4 ml/min per kg. There was a significant decrease in mesenteric blood flow to the distended intestine (13.4 ml/min per kg). Blood flow increased significantly during the decompression period (340% of baseline blood flow). Intraluminal distention and subsequent decompression resulted in a significant increase in microvascular permeability, as determined by the osmotic reflection coefficient. Oxygen delivery and oxygen content decreased significantly during the distention period and increased during decompression. Morphologic evaluation revealed a significant increase in edema and neutrophil infiltration after distention and decompression, compared with results for the sham-operated or control segments.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intraluminal distention and decompression of the equine jejunum results in low-flow ischemia and edema, which may contribute to adhesions and ileus in the postoperative period after surgery for obstructions of the small intestines. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:225–236)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare the results of abdominal CT with exploratory laparotomy in the dog.

ANIMALS

100 client-owned dogs from 1 academic institution.

METHODS

Medical records were searched for dogs that had undergone a preoperative abdominal CT scan read by a board-certified veterinary radiologist followed by an exploratory laparotomy. CT and surgical reports were compared.

RESULTS

The overall agreement between abdominal CT scan and exploratory laparotomy in all cases was 97%. Overall, there was no evidence that proportion agreement differed on the basis of body condition score, time interval between CT and surgery, or oncologic versus nononcologic disease.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Abdominal CT scan read by a board-certified diplomate is a sensitive presurgical diagnostic tool for surgical abdominal disease in the dog. When performing a specific abdominal surgery, it is acceptable for the surgeon to fully explore the abdomen or forego it for a smaller approach to the organ of interest if an abdominal CT was performed prior.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of Carolina rinse solution, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and 21-aminosteroid, U-74389G, on microvascular permeability and morphology of the equine jejunum after low-flow ischemia and reperfusion.

Animals—20 healthy adult horses.

Procedure—Under anesthesia, full-thickness biopsy specimens of a distal portion of the jejunum were obtained for baseline measurements. In addition to a control segment, 2 jejunal segments were identified as sham-operated or experimental segments. Experimental segments underwent 60 minutes of low-flow ischemia and 3.5 hours of reperfusion. Treatments were as follows: U-74389G (3 mg/kg, IV; 6 horses), DMSO (20 mg/kg, IV; 6) diluted in 1 L of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, local perfusion (via jejunal artery) of Carolina rinse solution (0.5 mL/kg; 4), and local perfusion of lactated Ringer's solution (0.5 mL/kg; 4).

Results—Jejunal microvascular permeability was significantly lower after treatment with Carolina rinse solution or DMSO, compared with U-74389G or lactated Ringer's solution treatments. After DMSO treatment, serosal- and submucosal-layer edema was significantly increased in experimental segments, compared with control or sham-operated segments; however, edema increases were significantly less than for lactated Ringer's solution or U-74389G treatments. Significant decreases in intestinal wet weight-to-dry weight ratio were found following Carolina rinse solution or DMSO treatments, compared with lactated Ringer's solution or U-74389G treatments. Edema formation and leukocyte infiltration in jejunal segments of horses treated with lactated Ringer's solution or U-74389G were increased, compared with Carolina rinse solution or DMSO treatments.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Carolina rinse solution and DMSO may be protective against ischemia-reperfusion injury in the equine jejunum. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:525–536)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Intramural vascular patterns of the jejunum and colon were evaluated during ischemic strangulation obstruction (iso, 70 minutes) and subsequent reperfusion (60 minutes) in 7 adult anesthetized horses. Microvasculature of experimental and control segments was described by comparison of results from microangiography, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy of vascular replicas. Experimental and control segments with isolated vascular arcades were removed either immediately after the experimental period or after 60 minutes of reperfusion. Blood was flushed from the vascular system by use of isotonic NaCl, and the segments were divided. Half of each segment was perfused with a modified radiopaque medium for microangiographic evaluation, and half was perfused with dilute methylmethacrylate to create a vascular replica to be studied by scanning electron microscopy. Microangiographic section also were evaluated for histologic changes.

Microvasculature of jejunal control segments and all colon segments was similar to described normal microvasculature of the equine jejunum and ascending colon. In jejunal iso segments, intramural perfusion was redistributed away from the mucosa. In the villi, the central arteriole was short and convoluted and the subepithelial capillaries were not filled. The submucosal vessels and crypt capillaries were congested, compared with those of controls, and the serosal vessels were not filled in the ischemic segments. Histologic grade II-III mucosal lesion was seen in jejunal iso segments. Reperfused jejunal segments had a transmural hyperemic response, and previously unfilled capillaries were observed in all intestinal layers. After reperfusion, the mucosal lesion progressed to grade III-IV and a cellular infiltrate and edema formation were observed in the serosa.

The intramural vasculature of the ischemic and reperfused colon remain unchanged. Minimal histologic damage was observed in the colon after 70 minutes of iso or after 60 minutes of reperfusion.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Effects of intraluminal distention (25 cm of H2O, 120 minutes) and subsequent decompression (60 minutes) on intramural vascular patterns of the small intestine was evaluated in 7 anesthetized horses. Intraluminal distention (25 cm of H2O, 120 mintutes) was created in 2 jejunal segments in each horse. Experimental and control segments were removed either immediately after the experimental period or after 60 minutes of decompression. The vascular system of experimental and control jejunal segments was lavaged with NaCl, then was injected with a blue-colored radiopaque medium for microangiography or with a diluted methyl methacrylate for scanning electron microscopy of microcorrosion vascular casts. After angiographic evaluation, tissue sections were prepared for light microscopic evaluation to assess vascular filling and tissue morphology. The distended segments had short villi, which were separated by expanded crypts, and had mesothelial cell loss, neutrophil infiltration, and edema in the seromuscular layer. The number of perfused vessels was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in the seromuscular layer and, to a lesser extent, in the mucosal layer of the distended segments, compared with controls. After decompression, the morphologic lesions progressed in mucosal and serosal layers and the number of observed vessels increased in all intramural layers; however, vascular density did not return to the predistention state. These results identify altered intramural vascular patterns in the equine jejunum during luminal distention and subsequent decompression.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Microvascular permeability of the jejunum of clinically normal equids and microvascular permeability associated with 60 minutes of ischemia (25% baseline blood flow) and subsequent reperfusion were investigated. Eight adult horses were randomly allotted to 2 equal groups: normal and ischemic/reperfusion injury. Lymphatic flow rates, mesenteric blood flow, and lymph and plasma protein concentrations were determined at 15-minute intervals throughout the study. Microvascular permeability was determined by estimates of the osmotic reflection coefficient, which was determined when the ratio of lymphatic protein to plasma protein concentration reached a constant minimal value as lymph flow rate increased (filtration-independent lymph flow rate), which occurred at venous pressure of 30 mm of Hg. Full-thickness jejunal biopsy specimens were obtained at the beginning and end of each experiment, and were prepared for light microscopy to estimate tissue volume (edema) and for transmission electron microscopy to evaluate capillary endothelial cell morphology.

The osmotic reflection coefficient for normal equine jejunum was 0.19 ± 0.06, and increased significantly (P < 0.0001) to 0.48 ± 0.05 after the ische- mia/reperfusion period. Microscopic evaluation revealed a significant increase (P < 0.0001) in submucosal and serosal volume and capillary endothelial cell damage in horses that underwent ischemia/reperfusion injury. Results indicate that ischemia/re-perfusion of the equine jejunum caused a significant increase in microvascular permeability.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research