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  • Author or Editor: Tom B. Yarbrough x
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The vasculature of the jejunum was studied in 6 llamas and 1 alpaca, using a combination of microangiography, standard light microscopy, and vascular cast imaging. The casts were examined by use of scanning electron microscopy and low-power dissecting microscopy. After administration of 40,000 IU of heparin, all animals were euthanatized by administration of an overdose of sodium pentobarbital. Three sections of jejunum and their respective arcuate vessels were isolated from each animal. One section was immediately placed in formalin for later H&E staining. The second and third sections were placed in warm saline solution, and the vasculature was flushed free of all blood by repeated infusions of the solution. Once flushed of all blood, one section was infused with a radio-opaque medium and subsequently evaluated by microangiography, and the remaining section was perfused with a methylmethacrylate polymer for creation of vascular casts.

The arcuate vessels branched into extensive primary and secondary arcades prior to giving rise to the marginal rete. Muscular arteries and small veins left the marginal rete and penetrated the tunica serosa and tunica muscularis to provide nutrients or drain the mesenteric angle, respectively, or entered into the circumferential submucosal network. The primary penetrating vessels in the submucosa formed an extensive submucosal plexus that supplied the tunica serosa, tunica muscularis, and tunica mucosa. The primary penetrating vessels anastomosed with vessels from oral and aboral sections and with their counterparts from the opposite side at the antimesenteric border. Vessels supplied the tunica serosa and tunia muscularis by branching centrifugally from the submucosal plexus supplying the inner circular and outer longitudinal muscle layers parallel to their respective muscle layers. The arterioles supplying the tunica mucosa branched at right angles, penetrated the muscularis mucosa, and gave rise to clusters of arterioles supplying either the villi or the intervening crypts; anastomosis occurred between these 2 systerns toward the base of the villus. The arterioles gradually developed a discontinuous smooth muscle layer as they approached the base of the villus. Each villus was supplied by a single centrally placed metarteriole that spiraled to the tip of the villus, divided, and descended in a fountaining capillary network. The individual capillaries in the cascade coalesced to drain via 2 to 4 venules at the base of the villus. Branches from the venules entered into an anastomosing network in the lamina propria to drain the crypts. Venules drained in the submucosal plexus and continued paralleling the arterial supply toward the mesenteric border and the arcuate veins. The jejunal vasculature of South American camelids contains an extensive set of anastomotic connections at all levels after formation of the arcuate vessels. Within the scope of this examination into the microvasculature of llamas and alpacas, differences were not detected between the individual species.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To determine whether peritoneal fluid pH, glucose concentration, and lactate dehydrogenase activity can be used to differentiate horses with septic peritonitis from those with nonseptic peritonitis.


Prospective study.


46 horses, including 10 healthy horses, 15 horses with septic peritonitis, and 21 horses with nonseptic peritonitis.


Peritoneal fluid and blood samples were analyzed for pH, glucose concentration, and lactate dehydrogenase activity. Complete blood cell counts were performed, and peritoneal fluid samples were submitted for bacterial culture.


Horses with septic peritonitis had significantly lower peritoneal fluid pH and glucose concentrations than horses with nonseptic peritonitis and healthy horses. Compared with other tests, serum-to-peritoneal fluid glucose concentration differences > 50 mg/dl had the highest diagnostic use for detection of septic peritonitis. Peritoneal fluid pH < 7.3, glucose concentration < 30 mg/dl, and fibrinogen concentration > 200 mg/dl were also highly indicative of septic peritonitis.

Clinical Implications

Peritoneal fluid pH and glucose concentration can be used to assist in the identification of horses with septic peritonitis. These measurements can provide an early indication of sepsis, especially if cytologic evaluation of peritoneal fluid is unavailable or results are equivocal and peritoneal fluid bacterial culture results are pending. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214: 1032–1036)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Medical records of 245 horses that had been evaluated by use of abdominal radiography between January 1990 and December 1992 were reviewed. One hundred forty-one horses subsequently had a postmortem examination or surgical exploration performed for definitive lesion diagnosis. The signalment, diagnosis, site, and number of enteroliths were obtained from the medical records. Radiographs were evaluated individually by 3 reviewers for the presence of enteroliths, preferred diagnostic view, evidence of large colon tympany, and film quality. Of the 141 cases reviewed, 66.7% (94/141) had confirmed enterolithiasis. Enteroliths were identified in the right dorsal colon of 59 horses, in the transverse colon of 28, in the small colon of 24, and in the ventral colon of 1 (enteroliths were detected in multiple sites in 12 horses). For the 3 reviewers, mean sensitivity was 76.9% and specificity was 94.4%. Mean positive-predictive value was 96.4%, and negative-predictive value was 67.5%. Cases involving only large colon enteroliths were correctly diagnosed 83.2% of the time, compared with 41.6% of the time for cases involving small colon enteroliths. Enteroliths were evident in 54.8% of the horses with radiographic signs of large colon distention. Fifteen horses had enteroliths in the small colon, 4 in the transverse colon, and 4 in the dorsal colon.

Radiographic quality was evaluated and scored as adequate (0), underexposed (−1), overexposed (1), or incomplete. Mean score was −0.5, and there were 21 (14.9%) incomplete studies. For the 75 cases correctly diagnosed via abdominal radiography, there were 14 (18.7%) incomplete studies and a mean score of −0.43. Of the 19 false-negative evaluations, there were 3 (15.8%) incomplete studies and a mean score of −0.69. The most common error leading to the missed diagnoses seemed to be inadequate penetration of the abdomen.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association