Equine

Research Abstract

E26 - Activated Platelets and Platelet-Leukocyte-Aggregates in Equine Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Friday, June 15
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: WSCC 615

Activated platelets contribute in humans to sepsis complications and to multiple organ failure. The aim of the prospective study was to determine, if platelets are activated in clinical cases of equine systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).


Adult horses and ponies fulfilling at least two criteria of an adapted SIRS-score were included. A standard human protocol measuring activated platelets and platelet-leukocyte-aggregates (PLA) with fluorescence flow cytometry in platelet-leukocyte-rich-plasma (PLRP) was established in horses. Activation of platelets was determined by increased presentation of CD62P and CD154 on platelets. Activation and PLA were measured before and after in vitro activation of platelets with collagen. Ten healthy adult horses and ponies served as controls. Statistical analysis included proof of normal distribution followed by two-way ANOVA and post-hoc Bonferroni tests.


The 19 included horses and ponies with SIRS had significantly more activated platelets and PLA in native PLRP than controls: CD62P 11.73 ± 3.74 % in SIRS and 1.74 ± 0.36% in controls (P = 0.0004); CD154 2.10 ± 0.91 % and 0.40 ± 0.08% respectively (P = 0.119); PLA 6.23 ± 1.18 % and 2.46 ± 0.32% respectively (P = 0.031). Six horses survived. There was a trend for more activation and PLA in non-surviving horses. Furthermore a trend for reduced in vitro activation with collagen was detected in the non-survivors.


This is the first study demonstrating increased platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte-aggregates with fluorescence flow cytometry in clinical cases of equine SIRS. Likewise platelet activation could be a prognostic factor in these patients. Antiplatelet therapy (e.g. clopidogrel) could be an additional therapeutic option in clinical cases of SIRS and other inflammatory diseases to prevent complications and improve outcome.

Katja Roscher, DipECEIM

Senior Clinician
Equine Clinic, Internal Medicine; Department of Veterinary Clinical Science; Justus-Liebig-University

Diplomate ECEIM in 2011.

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