Objectives – To evaluate the use of citrated recalcified (nonactivated) thromboelastography (TEG) in healthy horses and horses with colitis and suspected coagulopathies.
Design – Prospective, observational study conducted between October 2007 and June 2009.
Setting – Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Animals – Forty-five healthy adult horses and 12 sick adult horses with colitis and prolonged prothrombin time (PT) or activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT).
Interventions – None.
Measurements and Main Results – Whole blood was collected on admission. Coagulation profile (PT, aPTT, platelet count, and fibrinogen concentration) and citrated recalcified whole blood TEG analysis (R-time [R], K-time [K], angle [α], maximum amplitude [MA], G value [G], lysis at 60 min [LY60]) were evaluated. Mean values (SD) for TEG parameters in healthy horses were: R=10.4 (3.1) minutes; K=3.5 (1.2) minutes; α=46.3 (11.0)°; MA=55.6 (5.1) mm; G=6,429 (1,341) dyn/cm2, and LY60=5.1 (2.4)%. Mean coefficients of variation for intra-assay/interindividual variability in healthy horses were: R=4.7%/30.7%, K=4.8%/35.3%, α=4.4%/23.8%, MA=1.4%/9.3%, G=3.4%/20.8%, and LY60=13.1%/47.7%, respectively. Horses with colitis and prolonged PT and/or aPTT had longer mean values for R (P<0.001) and K (P<0.001), narrower mean α (P<0.001), decreased mean MA (P=0.001), and smaller mean G (P=0.02); changes consistent with hypocoagulability.
Conclusions – Citrated recalcified (nonactivated) TEG demonstrated changes consistent with hypocoagulability in horses with colitis that had preidentified coagulation abnormalities. This technique has high interindividual variability and low intra-assay variability. TEG may be useful for detecting hypocoagulable states in horses with colitis and suspected coagulopathies.