• CIRCI ;
  • hypertriglyceridemia;
  • neonatal septicemia;
  • prognosis


Sick neonatal foals suffer from a variety of endocrine and metabolic derangements that may be related to outcome. There are several hepatic and lipid metabolism blood markers that have never been assessed in neonatal foals.


Assess panel of endocrine and metabolic variables in group of sick and healthy neonatal foals in order to describe their relationship with diagnosis and survival.


All neonatal foals referred to Unitat Equina-Fundació Hospital Clínic Veterinari during 3 consecutive foaling seasons and a group of healthy foals.


Observational prospective study. Blood samples were obtained on admission and, when possible, after 24–48 h of hospitalization and immediately before discharge or death. Measured variables were triglycerides, nonsterified fatty acids, glucose, creatinine, urea, γ-glutamyltransferase, glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH), insulin, cortisol, bile acids, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH/cortisol and glucose/insulin ratios were calculated.


Urea, creatinine, and cortisol had median concentrations in septic and nonseptic foals 2- to 8-fold higher than in the control group (P < .001). Median ACTH concentration in the septic group was approximately 4 times higher than in nonseptic and control foals (P < .001). ACTH/cortisol ratio was significantly lower in sick foals compared to control foals (P < .001). A score was designed including creatinine, GLDH, and cortisol. When ≥2 of these variables were altered (P < .001), the foal had 32 times more risk of dying (OR, 31.7; 95% CI, 7.7–130.3).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

Plasma creatinine, GLDH, and cortisol should be determined in sick newborn foals on admission because of their association with survival.