Reliability of using results of abdominal fluid analysis to determine treatment and predict lesion type and outcome for horses with colic: 218 cases (1991-1994)

Gregory O. Freden From the Departments of Biomedical Sciences (Freden) and Clinical Sciences (Provost), School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536, and Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02110 (Rand).

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Patricia J. Provost From the Departments of Biomedical Sciences (Freden) and Clinical Sciences (Provost), School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536, and Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02110 (Rand).

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William M. Rand From the Departments of Biomedical Sciences (Freden) and Clinical Sciences (Provost), School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536, and Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02110 (Rand).

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Objective—

To assess clinical utility of abdominal fluid analysis in predicting outcome, lesion type, and whether medical or surgical treatment is indicated for horses with colic.

Design—

Retrospective study.

Animals—

218 horses > 1 year old.

Procedure—

Horses were classified on the basis of age, site of lesion, lesion type (nonstrangulating vs strangulating), type of treatment (medical vs surgical), and outcome (survival vs nonsurvival). Sensitivity and specificity of using age and results of abdominal fluid analysis, individually and in combination, to predict lesion type, type of treatment, and outcome were determined.

Results—

Most single variables evaluated were found to have low sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value for determining lesion type, whether medical or surgical treatment was indicated, and outcome. When evaluated in series, abdominal fluid color and specific gravity had a high positive predictive value for lesion type, and patient age and abdominal fluid color had a high positive predictive value for outcome.

Clinical Implications—

Results of abdominal fluid analysis cannot be used alone to accurately predict lesion type, whether medical or surgical treatment is needed, or outcome for horses with colic. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998:213:1012-1015)

Objective—

To assess clinical utility of abdominal fluid analysis in predicting outcome, lesion type, and whether medical or surgical treatment is indicated for horses with colic.

Design—

Retrospective study.

Animals—

218 horses > 1 year old.

Procedure—

Horses were classified on the basis of age, site of lesion, lesion type (nonstrangulating vs strangulating), type of treatment (medical vs surgical), and outcome (survival vs nonsurvival). Sensitivity and specificity of using age and results of abdominal fluid analysis, individually and in combination, to predict lesion type, type of treatment, and outcome were determined.

Results—

Most single variables evaluated were found to have low sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value for determining lesion type, whether medical or surgical treatment was indicated, and outcome. When evaluated in series, abdominal fluid color and specific gravity had a high positive predictive value for lesion type, and patient age and abdominal fluid color had a high positive predictive value for outcome.

Clinical Implications—

Results of abdominal fluid analysis cannot be used alone to accurately predict lesion type, whether medical or surgical treatment is needed, or outcome for horses with colic. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998:213:1012-1015)

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