Reasons for performing study: There is little scientific information available about the ability of ocular disease to cause a systemic inflammatory response. Horses are frequently affected with ocular disease and ensuring their systemic health prior to performing vision saving surgery under anaesthesia is essential for the successful treatment of ophthalmic disease.
Hypothesis: Ocular disease will cause elevations in the concentration of the acute phase proteins fibrinogen and serum amyloid A in peripheral blood.
Methods: Whole blood and serum samples were obtained from 38 mature horses with ulcerative keratitis or uveitis and no evidence of systemic disease, 9 mature horses with no evidence of ocular or systemic disease (negative controls) and 10 mature horses with systemic inflammatory disease and no evidence of ocular disease (positive controls). Blood samples were assayed for concentrations of the acute phase proteins fibrinogen and serum amyloid A.
Results: Fibrinogen and serum amyloid A were significantly different in the positive control group compared to the negative control, corneal disease and uveitis groups (P<0.126). There was no significant difference between the negative control, corneal disease and uveitis groups (P<0.001).
Conclusions: Ulcerative keratitis and anterior uveitis are not associated with elevated concentrations of the acute phase proteins fibrinogen and serum amyloid A in peripheral blood.
Potential relevance: When the clinician is presented with a patient with ocular disease and elevated plasma fibrinogen or serum amyloid A concentrations, a nonocular inflammatory focus should be suspected.