• glucagon;
  • insulin;
  • metabolic tracer;
  • metabolism;
  • sepsis


Objective: Glucose metabolism is often deranged in septic animals. Bacteremia and sepsis are common in foals and clinical experience suggests that glucose metabolism is abnormal in some of these animals. The purpose of this study was to provide initial estimates of rates of glucose appearance, disappearance, and metabolic clearance rate in septic foals.

Series Summary: Rates of glucose entry, and exit from blood were determined by use of infusion of isotopically labeled glucose in 5 foals with confirmed sepsis. Serum concentrations of glucose, insulin, glucagon, and cortisol were measured concurrent with measurement of rates of glucose turnover. Median glucose turnover rate was 24 μmol/kg/min (range 17–53 μmol/kg/min), and median glucose metabolic clearance rate was 3.2 mL/kg/min (range 1.7–6.7 mL/kg/min). Median concentration of serum immunoreactive insulin was 55 pmol/L (range 36–190 pmol/L), median serum immunoreactive glucagon was 65 pmol/L (range 19–120 pmol/L), and median serum cortisol was 207 nmol/L (range 100–333 nmol/L).

New or unique information provided: These data, although limited in scope and by the lack of data in healthy foals, demonstrate the magnitude and variation in glucose appearance, disappearance, and metabolic clearance rate in septic foals, provide an estimate of rates of glucose utilization in sick foals, and will be useful in guiding future studies of energy metabolism in healthy and ill foals.