Effects of continuous intra-articular infusion of gentamicin on synovial membrane and articular cartilage in the tarsocrural joint of horses

Timothy B. Lescun Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

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 BVSc, MS
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Stephen B. Adams Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

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 DVM, MS
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Ching Ching Wu Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

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 DVM, PhD
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Robert P. Bill Department of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

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 DVM, PhD
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David C. Van Sickle Department of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

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 DVM, PhD

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of a continuous intra-articular infusion of gentamicin on the synovial membrane and articular cartilage in the tarsocrural joint of horses.

Animals—6 healthy adult horses.

Procedure—A balloon infusion system attached to a catheter placed in the plantarolateral pouch of both tarsocrural joints in each horse was used for continuous gentamicin solution (GM) or balanced electrolyte solution (BES) delivery for 5 days. Cartilage and synovial membrane specimens were collected on day 5 from 3 horses and on day 14 from the remaining 3 horses. Both infused joints from each horse were assessed, using gross evaluation and histologic scoring systems.

Results—Significant differences in the histologic scores of synovial membrane specimens between the GM- and BES-treated joints at either 5 or 14 days were not observed. Safranin-O-fast green staining scores were similar between cartilage specimens from GM- and BES-treated joints. Although the synovial membrane histologic scores and safranin-O-fast green staining scores improved from day 5 to 14, the changes in scores were not significant. Loss of synovial intimal cells from villi was found more commonly in sections of synovial membrane from GM-treated joints, compared with BES-treated joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Continuous infusion of GM into the tarsocrural joint of horses does not have significant effects on histologic scores of articular cartilage or synovial membrane, compared with those infused with BES. Continuous infusion of GM into the tarsocrural joint of horses for 5 days is an acceptable method for the treatment of septic arthritis. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:683–687)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of a continuous intra-articular infusion of gentamicin on the synovial membrane and articular cartilage in the tarsocrural joint of horses.

Animals—6 healthy adult horses.

Procedure—A balloon infusion system attached to a catheter placed in the plantarolateral pouch of both tarsocrural joints in each horse was used for continuous gentamicin solution (GM) or balanced electrolyte solution (BES) delivery for 5 days. Cartilage and synovial membrane specimens were collected on day 5 from 3 horses and on day 14 from the remaining 3 horses. Both infused joints from each horse were assessed, using gross evaluation and histologic scoring systems.

Results—Significant differences in the histologic scores of synovial membrane specimens between the GM- and BES-treated joints at either 5 or 14 days were not observed. Safranin-O-fast green staining scores were similar between cartilage specimens from GM- and BES-treated joints. Although the synovial membrane histologic scores and safranin-O-fast green staining scores improved from day 5 to 14, the changes in scores were not significant. Loss of synovial intimal cells from villi was found more commonly in sections of synovial membrane from GM-treated joints, compared with BES-treated joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Continuous infusion of GM into the tarsocrural joint of horses does not have significant effects on histologic scores of articular cartilage or synovial membrane, compared with those infused with BES. Continuous infusion of GM into the tarsocrural joint of horses for 5 days is an acceptable method for the treatment of septic arthritis. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:683–687)

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