Detection of fibrin deposits in horse tissues by immunohistochemistry

Mário Cotovio, Luis Monreal, Marga Navarro, Dídac Segura, Justina Prada, Anabela Alves

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Background: Histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques have been used to detect fibrin deposits in different tissues in humans and experimental animal models with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Fibrin deposits also have been observed in horses with severe ischemic and inflammatory disorders by histochemical stainings (phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin [PTAH]). Hypothesis: Immunohistochemical (IHC) methods can be used to accurately detect fibrin deposits in horses at risk of DIC. Animals: Tissue-organ samples collected on postmortem examination from 87 horses with severe inflammatory and ischemic gastrointestinal disorders. In addition, tissue samples from 13 horses with colic and colonic obstructions or displacements and from 13 slaughter horses were used as controls. Methods: Tissue samples (kidney, lung, and liver) were stained with PTAH and IHC for blinded histologic examination and comparison. A fibrin score (grades 0 to 4) was established for each tissue sample and for each horse for both techniques. Results: When the IHC method was used, fibrin deposition was observed in 47.1% of the horses with colic with a poor prognosis, compared with 41.4% with PTAH. An agreement of 70% was achieved when both methods were compared, and the lung was confirmed as the most affected organ. Almost none of the colic and slaughter control horses had fibrin deposits in their tissues. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: IHC technique for fibrin antigens was very effective in the detection and identification of fibrin deposits in equine tissues and may be a reliable technique for the postmortem diagnosis of DIC. Copyright © 2007 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1089
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2007


  • Diagnosis
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Equine
  • Histopathology
  • Microthrombosis


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