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Factors associated with survival, laminitis and insulin dysregulation in horses diagnosed with equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction

Horn, R., Bamford, N.J., Afonso, T., Sutherland, M., Buckerfield, J., Tan, R.H.H., Secombe, C.J., Stewart, A.J. and Bertin, F.R. (2018) Factors associated with survival, laminitis and insulin dysregulation in horses diagnosed with equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. Equine Veterinary Journal, 51 (4). pp. 440-445.

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Background: Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) is a commonly described endocrine disorder in higher latitudes of the Northern hemisphere but the description of the disease at lower latitudes and in the Southern hemisphere is limited.

Objectives: Document the clinical features of PPID at different Australian latitudes and climates, and investigate factors associated with survival, laminitis and insulin dysregulation (ID).

Study design: Retrospective study of 274 equids from eight institutions across Australia. Methods: A diagnosis of PPID was based on endogenous ACTH, overnight dexamethasone suppression test, thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulation test or necropsy. Clinical and clinicopathologic characteristics of PPID and therapeutic responses were investigated. Laminitis was diagnosed by radiographic or histologic changes and ID was diagnosed based on endogenous insulin, an oral glucose test or a 2-step insulin-response test.

Results: Being a pony, having a higher body condition score and pergolide administration were associated with survival. The clinical presentation of PPID changed with latitude and climate, with anhidrosis and polyuria/polydipsia more commonly recognised at lower latitudes. Laminitis was diagnosed in 89.9% of cases and ID was present in 76.5% of cases in which they were investigated.

Main limitations: Despite the sample size, the lack of uniform testing at all locations (primary or referral cases) and the incompleteness of data sets limited the power of the statistical analyses.

Conclusions: PPID can present with variable signs at different latitudes and climates, and ID should be investigated in equids diagnosed with PPID. Adequate body condition and administration of pergolide are fundamental in PPID management.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Equine Veterinary Journal Ltd
Copyright: © 2018 EVJ Ltd
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