Serum amyloid A does not predict non-survival in hospitalised adult horses with acute colitis

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Background: Predicting non-survival in horses with acute colitis improves early decision making. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the prognostic value of serum amyloid A (SAA) and other clinicopathological and clinical variables in adult horses with acute colitis. Methods: Clinical variables, SAA and other blood biomarkers, including plasma L-lactate (lactate), were assessed in 176 horses with acute colitis. A multivariate model for the prediction of non-survival was constructed. Icelandic horses were analysed separately. Results: Admission SAA was similar in survivors (median 548 mg/L; range 0–5453 mg/L) and non-survivors (396 mg/L; 0–5294) (p = 0.43). A model for non-survival included year of admission, lactate, heart rate, age and colic duration of more than 24 hours. Icelandic horses had a relative risk of 2.9 (95% confidence interval = 2.2–3.8) for acute colitis compared to other breeds. Lactate in Icelandic horses was higher than that in other breeds in both survivors (4.0 mmol/L, range 1.0–12.7 vs. 2.0, 0.7–12.5) and non-survivors (10.0, 1.5–26 vs. 5.4, 0.8–22) (p < 0.001). Limitations: The prognostic value of repeated measurements of SAA could not be assessed in this study, as 71% of the non-surviving horses died within a day of admission. Conclusion: Admission SAA did not predict non-survival. Breed needs consideration when lactate is evaluated as a predictor for non-survival in horses with colitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2644
JournalVeterinary Record
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 The Authors. Veterinary Record published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Veterinary Association.

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