Study: Presence Of Cardiac Protein Found To Impact Colic Severity  - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Study: Presence Of Cardiac Protein Found To Impact Colic Severity 

University of Pennsylvania researchers have found that horses suffering from colic often develop cardiac arrhythmias. Researchers tracked 111 horses admitted to the clinic for colic; they drew blood when the horses arrived, as well as 12 and 24 hours later for non-surgical cases. For horses that required surgery, blood was drawn 12 and 24 hours after surgery. 

Each horse also had a 24-hour electrocardiogram (ECG), placed either the day after admission or the day after surgery, to see if the horse was experiencing irregular heartbeats in addition to colic. 

The scientists found that horses admitted to the clinic for colic that had elevated levels of the protein cardiac troponin I were 24 times more likely to need surgical intervention. They were 3.86 times more likely to have arrythmias and 4.17 times more likely to die or be euthanized. 

Troponin I (cTnl) is released into the horse's bloodstream when myocardial cells are damaged. 

The research team concluded that a high cTnl count means that the colicking horse has damage to his heart, which can cause arrythmias. A blood test for cTnl could offer veterinarians valuable insight into the colicking horse's prognosis, particularly if the horse has an arrythmia. 

Read more at EQUUS magazine

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