UK Researchers' Work Discussed at AAEP Kester News Hour

While your veterinarian is stitching wounds, delivering foals, and monitoring colics, researchers from around the world are publishing research that often advances the collective of horse health care. So to bring busy practitioners up to speed on the top studies in a variety of fields, a panel of veterinarians presents a news-type program each year at the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners' Convention.

Pat McCue, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, a professor of equine theriogenology at Colorado State University's Equine Reproduction Laboratory, described the reproduction studies he deemed most important and useful to a veterinary audience during the Kester News Hour. This year's lecture took place Dec. 7 at the convention, held in Nashville, Tenn.

Two of those studies featured research from the University of Kentucky's own Barry A. Ball, DVM, PhD, Dip. ACT, the Albert G. Clay Endowed Chair in Equine Reproduction at the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, and Mats Troedsson, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, ECAR, chair of the Department of Veterinary Science and director of the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center.

McCue described Ball's study results, which showed that blood anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) concentrations appear to be a good biomarker for detecting granulosa-cell tumors (GCTs, the most common type of ovarian tumor). Although mostly benign, GCTs can prevent pregnancy and cause stallionlike behavior and other problems in mares.

After collecting blood from normal mares and mares with confirmed GCTs, the researchers found that mares with GCTs had significantly higher AMH levels than normal mares. Further, they found that AMH had a sensitivity (i.e., the ability to correctly identifies mares with GCTs) of 98%.

McCue opined that the AMH screening should be a standard part of tumor diagnostic panels at diagnostic laboratories.

Ball BA, et al. Determination of serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations for the diagnosis of granulosa-cell tumours in mares. Equine Vet J. 2013 Mar;45(2):199-203.

McCue then described Troedsson's recently published review of breeding-induced endometritis (an inflammation of the uterus lining caused by breeding). He said the researchers found breeding-induced endometritis in 10-15% of mares and that factors such as advanced age, poor perineal conformation, a pendulous (i.e., downward facing or slanted) uterus, and an altered immune response put mares at a greater risk for developing this condition.

He said the researchers identified six hours as the critical timeframe to clear breeding-induced inflammation from a mare's uterus; mares that failed to clear inflammation by six hours after breeding remained inflamed.

Woodward EM and Troedsson MH. Equine breeding-induced endometritis: a review. J Equine Vet Sci. 2013;33:673-682.

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