Metabolic and endocrine profiles in sick neonatal foals are related to survival

L. Armengou, E. Jose-Cunilleras, J. Ríos, C. Cesarini, J. Viu, L. Monreal

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: 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. Objectives: 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. Animals: All neonatal foals referred to Unitat Equina-Fundació Hospital Clínic Veterinari during 3 consecutive foaling seasons and a group of healthy foals. Methods: 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. Results: 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. © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-575
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Neonatal septicemia
  • Prognosis


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