• Open Access

Association between Hypercoagulability and Decreased Survival in Horses with Ischemic or Inflammatory Gastrointestinal Disease

Authors


  • The study was carried out at The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Herts AL9 7TA, UK.

Corresponding author: Bettina Dunkel, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Herts AL9 7TA, UK; e-mail: bdunkel@rvc.ac.uk.

Abstract

Background: Coagulopathies are common in horses with ischemic or inflammatory gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances. There is indirect evidence suggesting that early stages of these diseases are characterized by hypercoagulability (HC).

Hypothesis/Objectives: HC, assessed via thromboelastography (TEG), is common in horses with ischemic or inflammatory GI diseases. The degree of HC is correlated with nonsurvival and thrombotic complications.

Animals: Thirty client-owned horses with ischemic or inflammatory GI disease, 30 client-owned horses with nonischemic or inflammatory GI disease, and 30 healthy horses (control group).

Methods: Prospective, observational clinical study. TEG profiles of 30 horses with ischemic or inflammatory GI disease were obtained on admission and 48 hours after admission, and these were compared with profiles from 30 horses with nonischemic or inflammatory GI disease and 30 healthy controls. Prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), antithrombin activity (AT), and D-Dimer concentrations were also determined in horses with GI disease.

Results: Horses with ischemic or inflammatory GI disease had shorter R times compared with healthy horses (14.8 ± 8.3 versus 22.8 ± 12 minute; P= .011). However, changes were subtle and TEG profiles did not resembled those obtained from animals or humans presumed to be hypercoagulable. Although conventional coagulation testing supported the presence of HC (decreased AT and increased D-Dimer concentrations), TEG and coagulation abnormalities were rarely found in the same horses and the methods were not statistically related.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: There is evidence of HC in horses with GI disease but techniques for diagnoses require refinement.

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