Identification of Equine Strangulating Small Intestinal Lesions

The study results found value in measuring the ratio of peritoneal fluid lactate to systemic lactate.

Colic with small intestinal involvement tends to be acutely painful. iStockPhotos.com

Colic with small intestinal involvement tends to be acutely painful. Acquisition of peritoneal fluid is helpful for diagnosis and prognostication purposes. 

At the 12th International Equine Colic Symposium (2017), a paper was presented from work done at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine that identified parameters of peritoneal fluid that could aid clinicians in next steps for care [Shearer, T.R.; Norby, B.; and Carr, E.A. The Diagnostic Utility Of Peritoneal Fluid Lactate And Color In Diagnosing Horses With Small Intestinal Disease. Equine Vet Educ, 29: 21].

The results of the study suggested that there is value in measuring the ratio of peritoneal fluid lactate to systemic lactate in order to differentiate between strangulating (SSI) and non-strangulating (NSSI) small intestinal lesions. 

“A ratio of >2.0 and a ratio ≤2.0 combined with serosanguinous peritoneal fluid color accurately predicted 96.7% of small intestinal lesions that need surgical intervention.” 

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