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Use of Colonic Luminal Pressure to Predict Outcome After Surgical Treatment of Strangulating Large Colon Volvulus in Horses


  • Presented at the Eighth Annual Equine Colic Research Symposium in Quebec City, Canada, August 5, 2005

Address reprint requests to Stephanie C. Mathis, DVM, Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital, 4747 SW 60th Ave., Ocala, FL 34474. E-mail:


Objective— To evaluate the relationship of colonic luminal pressure (CLP) measurements to outcome in horses with large colon volvulus (LCV) after either manual correction or large colon resection and anastomosis (LCRA).

Study Design— Retrospective study.

Animals— Horses (n=57) that had LCV.

Methods— Records for horses with LCV (March 1997–December 2003) were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were strangulating LCV proximal to the cecocolic ligament (>270°), recorded CLP, and successful recovery from anesthesia. CLP measurements and survival/mortality rates were compared between horses that had manual correction (M) or LCRA (R).

Results— Of 57 horses, 27 had M and 30 had LCRA. For group M, CLP measurements had a sensitivity of 0.60 and specificity of 0.77 for predicting survival, whereas for group R, sensitivity was 0.50 and specificity was 0.54.

Conclusion— In our LCV population, elevated CLP measurements had poor accuracy for predicting outcome in horses after surgical correction, especially after LCRA.

Clinical Relevance— CLP measurements based on a single hospital population of horses with LCV should be used with caution for other hospital populations of LCV. CLP may be only one of many variables needed for predicting outcome of horses with strangulating LCV, especially after LCRA.

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