Use of portable LPS analyzer for endotoxin concentrations of the blood and abdominal fluid in horses with gastrointestinal disorders

Colic remains the leading cause of death in the horse. In equine colic, mortality is closely related to the degree of endotoxaemia which have been evaluated as prognostic indicators and correlated with increased mortality. Also, endotoxaemia directly contributes to the development of many life-threatening sequelae including laminitis. Despite its importance, the diagnosis of equine endotoxemia has generally been made by clinical signs.

Portable LPS analyzer has been recently used in human sepsis patients and is already validated in the blood samples from bovine patients with gastrointestinal disorders. Such a diagnostic tool will be highly valuable for equine cases with gastrointestinal disorders to provide additional parameter for differential diagnosis and prognostication.

Our hypotheses are; (1) Portable LPS analyzer can be used to determine the presence and severity of endotoxemia in equine colic patients with a good correlation with clinical signs. (2) LPS concentrations can be higher in the disorders of large intestines than those of small intestines in equine colic. (3) LPS concentrations can be higher in the strangulating disorders than non-strangulating disorders of large intestines in equine colic. (4) LPS concentrations in abdominal fluid or arterial blood samples can be higher than venous blood samples as a more sensitive diagnostic parameter. (5) Reduction of LPS concentration within 24-hour of initial treatment or surgery can be associated with higher survival rate, shorter hospitalization period, or less incidence of post-operative complications.

What is endotoxemia?

Endotoxemia is a systemic inflammatory reaction caused by endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in the bloodstream. This condition often develops with a number of gastrointestinal disorders in horses, inclduing colic and diarrhea.

How can evaluation of endotoxemia help?

In horses with gastrointestinal disorders, mortality is closely related to the degree of endotoxaemia. Also, endotoxaemia directlyc ontributes to the development of many life-threatening sequelae including laminitis. By using the samples from your horse, we will test a new device (portable LPS analyzer) as a quick, point-of-care, inexpensive evaluation of endotoxemia. Additional venous blood samples (no more than a teaspoon) will be collected for LPS analysis. If your horse underwent celiotomy surgery, additional abdominal fluid and arterial blood samples will also be collected. Adverse effects of additional sample collection are expected to be minimum to none.

What will happen to my horse?

Additional venous blood samples (no more than a teaspoon) will be collected for LPS analysis. If your horse underwent celiotomy surgery, additional abdominal fluid and arterial blood samples will also be collected. Adverse effects of additional sample collection are expected to be minimum to none.

Who pays?

Only the costs of LPS analysis will be covered by a study.