Serum tumor necrosis factor activity in horses with colic attributable to gastrointestinal tract disease

Debra Deem Morris From the Departments of Large Animal Medicine (Morris, Moore, Crowe) and Physiology and Pharmacology (Morris, Moore), College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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James N. Moore From the Departments of Large Animal Medicine (Morris, Moore, Crowe) and Physiology and Pharmacology (Morris, Moore), College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Natalie Crowe From the Departments of Large Animal Medicine (Morris, Moore, Crowe) and Physiology and Pharmacology (Morris, Moore), College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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SUMMARY

Over a 24-month period, serum tumor necrosis factor (tnf) activity was determined in 289 horses with colic attributable to gastrointestinal tract disease. Serum tnf activity was quantitated by use of a modified in vitro cytotoxicity bioassay, using WEHI 164 clone-13 murine fibrosarcoma cells. Causes for colic, determined by clinical and laboratory evaluation, exploratory celiotomy, or necropsy included: gastrointestinal tract rupture (gtr); ileal impaction; small intestinal strangulating obstruction (sio); proximal enteritis (pe); transient small intestinal distention; large-colon displacement; large-colon vovulus; large-colon impaction; colitis; small-colon obstruction; peritonitis; and unknown. Each diagnosis was placed into 1 of 3 lesion categories: inflammatory disorders (gtr, pe, colitis, peritonitis); strangulating intestinal obstruction (sio, large-colon volvulus); and nonstrangulating intestinal obstruction (ileal impaction, transient small intestinal distension, large-colon displacement, large-colon impaction, small-colon obstruction, unknown). The prevalence of high serum tnf activity and/or mortality were evaluated. Differences were tested at significance level of P < 0.05.

Approximately 20% of the 289 horses has serum tnf activity greater than that found in clinically normal horses (> 2.5 U/ml). Twenty-three horses (8%) had marked increase in serum tnf activity (≥ 10 U/ml) which was more prevalent among horses with sio and pe than in horses of other diagnostic groups, except those with gtr. Mortality and marked increase in serum tnf activity were greater in horses with intestinal inflammatory disorders or strangulating intestinal obstruction than in horses with nonstrangulating intestinal obstruction. Similarly, a greater proportion of the horses that died had markedly high serum tnf activity than did horses that lived. Mortality of horses with serum tnf ≥ 10 U/ml was greater than that of horses with serum tnf activity < 10 U/ml. Results indicate possible association between colic and serum tnf activity in horses and that high mortality may be associated with horses with markedly increased serum tnf activity.

SUMMARY

Over a 24-month period, serum tumor necrosis factor (tnf) activity was determined in 289 horses with colic attributable to gastrointestinal tract disease. Serum tnf activity was quantitated by use of a modified in vitro cytotoxicity bioassay, using WEHI 164 clone-13 murine fibrosarcoma cells. Causes for colic, determined by clinical and laboratory evaluation, exploratory celiotomy, or necropsy included: gastrointestinal tract rupture (gtr); ileal impaction; small intestinal strangulating obstruction (sio); proximal enteritis (pe); transient small intestinal distention; large-colon displacement; large-colon vovulus; large-colon impaction; colitis; small-colon obstruction; peritonitis; and unknown. Each diagnosis was placed into 1 of 3 lesion categories: inflammatory disorders (gtr, pe, colitis, peritonitis); strangulating intestinal obstruction (sio, large-colon volvulus); and nonstrangulating intestinal obstruction (ileal impaction, transient small intestinal distension, large-colon displacement, large-colon impaction, small-colon obstruction, unknown). The prevalence of high serum tnf activity and/or mortality were evaluated. Differences were tested at significance level of P < 0.05.

Approximately 20% of the 289 horses has serum tnf activity greater than that found in clinically normal horses (> 2.5 U/ml). Twenty-three horses (8%) had marked increase in serum tnf activity (≥ 10 U/ml) which was more prevalent among horses with sio and pe than in horses of other diagnostic groups, except those with gtr. Mortality and marked increase in serum tnf activity were greater in horses with intestinal inflammatory disorders or strangulating intestinal obstruction than in horses with nonstrangulating intestinal obstruction. Similarly, a greater proportion of the horses that died had markedly high serum tnf activity than did horses that lived. Mortality of horses with serum tnf ≥ 10 U/ml was greater than that of horses with serum tnf activity < 10 U/ml. Results indicate possible association between colic and serum tnf activity in horses and that high mortality may be associated with horses with markedly increased serum tnf activity.

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