Heart responses of horses with equine metabolic syndrome probed

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The cardiovascular response of horses with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is different to that of healthy controls, researchers have found.

Scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Horses found that horses with EMS have cardiovascular changes that affect resting heart rate and systemic blood pressure during insulin infusion.

Katarina Nostell and her colleagues conducted an oral sugar test (OST) on the horses used in the study.

Based on the results, the horses were classified as either EMS or control. There were 16 EMS horses and 12 controls.

They then assessed the horses’ insulin secretion and resistance using the euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp (EHC) technique.

Blood pressure was measured before the start of the EHC, and 60, 120 and 180 minutes into the test.

It was found that the average resting heart rate was about five beats per minutes higher for EMS horses compared with the control animals.

Systolic, diastolic and average arterial blood pressure did not differ between groups at the start of the EHC.

However, blood pressure decreased gradually during the EHC in the control group, whereas the EMS group showed no decline in systolic, diastolic or mean arterial pressure.

“Horses with EMS have cardiovascular changes that affect resting heart rate and systemic blood pressure during insulin infusion,” the study team concluded.

Their findings were reported in the Equine Veterinary Journal.

Nostell K, Lindåse S, Edberg H, Bröjer J. The effect of insulin infusion on heart rate and systemic blood pressure in horses with equine metabolic syndrome. Equine Vet J. 2019 Mar 18. doi: 10.1111/evj.13110.

The abstract of the study can be read here

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