Background: Thromboelastometry is used for identifying or monitoring coagulation abnormalities. It has been validated in several species but not in horses and the characteristics of the equine thromboelastogram have not yet been detailed.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to validate a thromboelastometer to be used with equine blood and to define the normal equine thromboelastogram.
Methods: A Rotem-gamma thromboelastometer (Pentapharm GmbH, Munich, Germany) was used on 38 citrated blood samples to investigate native coagulation, the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways, the function of fibrinogen (largely dependent on its concentration), and the presence of fibrinolysis. Using classic validation approaches, we evaluated the imprecision of the method and the influence of hemolysis and storage time and temperature. The normal thromboelastogram was defined in both saddle and racing horses (the latter sampled before and after the race).
Results: For imprecision tests, the analytical variations were <10%. The equine thromboelastogram had a pattern similar to those of other species, but the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways were less and more efficient, respectively. Reference intervals in racing horses, especially after exercise, were different from those of saddle horses, most likely due to a higher RBC mass. Coagulability decreased in hemolyzed samples and significant changes were found between nonrefrigerated and refrigerated blood samples stored for 20 hours.
Conclusions: The Rotem-gamma thromboelastometer is a precise instrument for use with equine blood samples. The equine thromboelastogram is similar to that of other species, but reference intervals vary with aptitude and exercise. Hemolysis and refrigeration alter thromboelastometric results.