Reevaluation of the Effect of Phenylephrine on Resolution of Nephrosplenic Entrapment by the Rolling Procedure in 87 Horses


  • Work performed at Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital and The University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center

Corresponding Author

W. True Baker, DVM, 3550 Lexington Rd, Versailles, KY, 40383




To evaluate the outcome in horses treated with a rolling technique or surgically for nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon (NSE) and to examine the benefit of phenylephrine (PE) HCl on the efficacy of nonsurgical (rolling) management of NSE.

Study Design

Case series.


Horses (n = 211) diagnosed with NSE by rectal palpation with or without ultrasonography, or at the time of exploratory celiotomy or necropsy.


Medical records (January 1, 2001–September 1, 2008) were collected from horses diagnosed with NSE at 2 referral centers. Records were used to obtain signalment, physical exam findings, laboratory results, ultrasonographic findings, the use of PEHCl, the specific treatment used, and outcome. Rectal findings indicative of NSE were: (1) palpation of large colon within the nephrosplenic space or (2) palpation of colonic bands coursing dorsally toward the nephrosplenic space in association with ultrasonographic findings suggestive of NSE.


Rolling was successful in 50 of 87 (58%) horses, 85 horses (98%) survived to discharge. Horses (n = 155) that were treated surgically (42 of which had previously undergone the rolling procedure) had a 94% short-term survival rate. Premedication with PE resulted in no significant difference (P = .91) in resolution of NSE by rolling.


Resolution of NSE by rolling was not significantly affected by premedication with PE in the population studied.