The gastrosplenic ligament is a thin, broad mesenteric band that extends from the greater curvature of the stomach to the cranial edge of the spleen.1,2 In horses, incarceration of a portion of the small intestine through a rent in the gastrosplenic ligament (GLE) is the cause of only 0.3% to 2% of all colics,3 but accounts for 4.5% to 10.7% of all primary small intestinal surgical lesions.2,4 The epiploic foramen is a 4- to 6-cm opening that separates the omental bursa from the rest of the abdominal cavity.5,6 Incarceration of a portion of the small intestine through the epiploic foramen (EFE) occurs more frequently than GLE, with a prevalence rate ranging from 2% to 10% of all surgical colics,3,5,7–9 and accounts for 6% to 23% of small intestinal surgical lesions.10–12
Although risk factors associated with EFE have been identified,13,14 few studies2,4,15 have been conducted to evaluate risk factors or specific clinical findings associated with GLE, at least not in a large population of horses. Elucidation of risk factors associated with GLE may provide insights into the etiology of acquired lesions, such as rents in the gastrosplenic ligament. The objective of the study reported here was to compare the clinical findings and short-term outcome for horses with GLE with those of horses with EFE. We chose to compare horses with GLE with horses with EFE because it was our clinical impression that horses with those 2 types of lesions had similar clinical signs at hospital admission and were examined with sufficient frequency at our institution to allow for meaningful comparisons. We hypothesized that horses with GLE would have similar clinical signs and diagnostic test results but better short-term survival rate than horses with EFE.
Presented in abstract form at the 11th International Colic Symposium, Dublin, July 2014.
Epiploic foramen entrapment
Gastrosplenic ligament entrapment
Interquartile range (25th to 75th percentile)
SAS, version 9.3, SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
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