Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is an important component of the evaluation of neurologic horses. Lumbosacral (LS) centesis is routinely practiced; however, CSF collection from the space between the first and second cervical vertebrae (C1-C2) has also been described. The purpose of this study was to compare collection times, CSF cytology results, and equine protozoal myelitis (EPM) titers between the two collection sites.
Healthy adult horses (n=14) and horses with a complaint of neurologic disease (n=7) were used. Cerebrospinal fluid was collected from both sites in randomized order. Continuous data were analyzed using mixed-effects linear models and count data using mixed-effects negative binomial regression. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Cerebrospinal fluid collected from C1-C2 had a significantly lower mean protein concentration (48 mg/dL C1-C2 versus 53 mg/dL LS; P = 0.01), red blood cell count (98 cells/uL C1-C2 vs 540 cells/uL LS; P = 0.032) and lower percentage of neutrophils (0.25% C1-C2 vs 4.7% LS; P = 0.04). Collection time, total nucleated cell count, percentage of mononuclear cells, EPM titers, and serum:CSF EPM titer ratios were not significantly different between collection sites. No adverse effects were detected for either technique.
Cerebrospinal fluid from the C1-C2 space provides an acceptable alternative to LS CSF collection with decreased likelihood of clinically important blood contamination of samples.
Resident in Large Animal Medicine
University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Hayley Chidlow completed her veterinary training at University of Liverpool, England. She then spent two years as an associate in equine practice in England, before completing an 18 month Equine Internal Medicine Fellowship at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. She is currently in her second year of a Large Animal Internal Medicine residency at the University of Georgia.
Thursday, June 14
11:00 AM – 11:15 AM
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