Serum iron and plasma fibrinogen concentrations as indicators of systemic inflammatory diseases in horses

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Borges, Alexandre S. [UNESP]
Divers, Thomas J. [UNESP]
Stokol, Tracy [UNESP]
Mohammed, O. Hussni [UNESP]

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Background: Detection of systemic inflammation, which is important for proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, can be challenging. Hypothesis: Measurement of plasma iron concentration is a sensitive method for detecting systemic inflammation in horses compared with measurements of plasma fibrinogen concentration, a traditional marker for inflammation in the horse. Animals: Ninety-seven horses hospitalized with diseases causing systemic inflammation, 22 horses with localized inflammation, and 12 clinically normal horses were included in this study. Methods: A retrospective study was made on hospitalized horses that had both plasma iron and fibrinogen concentrations measured on hospital admission. Results: Plasma iron concentration was lower in horses with systemic inflammation (64 ± 45 μg/dL) than the reference interval minimum (105 μg/dL) and were significantly lower (P = .001) than the value in a group of horses with local inflammation (123 ± 45 μg/dL) and in healthy transported horses (143 ± 29 μg/dL). Low plasma iron and high fibrinogen concentrations were both sensitive indicators of systemic inflammation in horses with sensitivity of 90 and 82%, respectively. There was a similar correlation between either continued decreases in iron concentration (Rsp of 0.239) or increases in fibrinogen concentration (R sp of 0.280) during hospitalization and a worse prognosis. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Measurement of plasma iron concentration better reflected acute inflammation than did fibrinogen concentration. Copyright © 2007 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.



Acute phase reactant protein, Horse, Inflammation

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Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, v. 21, n. 3, p. 489-494, 2007.