Comparison of the effects of low-molecular-weight and unfractioned heparin in horses

Luis Monreal From the Unit of Experimental Thrombosis, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Antonio J. Villatoro From the Unit of Experimental Thrombosis, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Manuel Monreal From the Unit of Experimental Thrombosis, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Yvonne Espada From the Unit of Experimental Thrombosis, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Anna M. Anglés From the Unit of Experimental Thrombosis, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Rafael Ruiz-Gopegui From the Unit of Experimental Thrombosis, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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SUMMARY

Thirty healthy male horses were allotted to 3 groups and treated blindly during 4 days. Group-1 horses received unfractioned calcium heparin (100 IU/kg of body weight, sc, q 12 h). Group-2 horses received a single dose of a low-molecular-weight heparin (50 anti-Xa IU/kg, sc) every morning, and a similar volume of saline solution every evening. Group-3 horses received the vehicle (saline solution), sc, every 12 hours. Citrated and edta-anticoagulated blood samples were collected before starting the medication (T-0) and once daily 3 hours after each morning injection (T-3, T-27, T-51, and T-75). The pcv, hemoglobin concentration, rbc and platelet counts, and clotting times (activated partial thromboplastin time and thrombin time) were determined, and a microscopic examination to detect hemagglutination was performed. Plasma concentration of heparin was measured by use of the antifactor Xa activity assay. Bleeding time was determined on the first and fourth days, using a double-template method.

The horses given unfractioned heparin had marked agglutination of erythrocytes after the first injection that became more pronounced as treatment progressed. Also, significant decrease in pcv, hemoglobin concentration, and rbc count was observed during treatment. Platelet count was significantly decreased after the first day, and clotting times were significantly prolonged. In contrast to the horses given unfractioned heparin, those given low-molecular-weight heparin did not have any agglutination of erythrocytes during the 4 days of treatment, and there were no significant changes in pcv, hemoglobin concentration, or rbc and platelet counts. Activated partial thromboplastin time increased slightly in the horses given low-molecular-weight heparin, although the values remained within reference range. Both groups of horses achieved adequate concentrations of heparin in plasma for prophylactic purposes, but those given low-molecular-weight heparin achieved those values after the first injection. Bleeding times were not significantly different between heparin-treated horses and horses given saline solution during treatment.

We conclude that low-molecular-weight heparin may be used more safely and conveniently in horses, because it does not affect equine erythrocytes, platelets, or clotting and bleeding times.

SUMMARY

Thirty healthy male horses were allotted to 3 groups and treated blindly during 4 days. Group-1 horses received unfractioned calcium heparin (100 IU/kg of body weight, sc, q 12 h). Group-2 horses received a single dose of a low-molecular-weight heparin (50 anti-Xa IU/kg, sc) every morning, and a similar volume of saline solution every evening. Group-3 horses received the vehicle (saline solution), sc, every 12 hours. Citrated and edta-anticoagulated blood samples were collected before starting the medication (T-0) and once daily 3 hours after each morning injection (T-3, T-27, T-51, and T-75). The pcv, hemoglobin concentration, rbc and platelet counts, and clotting times (activated partial thromboplastin time and thrombin time) were determined, and a microscopic examination to detect hemagglutination was performed. Plasma concentration of heparin was measured by use of the antifactor Xa activity assay. Bleeding time was determined on the first and fourth days, using a double-template method.

The horses given unfractioned heparin had marked agglutination of erythrocytes after the first injection that became more pronounced as treatment progressed. Also, significant decrease in pcv, hemoglobin concentration, and rbc count was observed during treatment. Platelet count was significantly decreased after the first day, and clotting times were significantly prolonged. In contrast to the horses given unfractioned heparin, those given low-molecular-weight heparin did not have any agglutination of erythrocytes during the 4 days of treatment, and there were no significant changes in pcv, hemoglobin concentration, or rbc and platelet counts. Activated partial thromboplastin time increased slightly in the horses given low-molecular-weight heparin, although the values remained within reference range. Both groups of horses achieved adequate concentrations of heparin in plasma for prophylactic purposes, but those given low-molecular-weight heparin achieved those values after the first injection. Bleeding times were not significantly different between heparin-treated horses and horses given saline solution during treatment.

We conclude that low-molecular-weight heparin may be used more safely and conveniently in horses, because it does not affect equine erythrocytes, platelets, or clotting and bleeding times.

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