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Research Indicates that Horses with Pituitary Tumors Are Not at Higher Risk for Blood Clots

In pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), a common disease of older horses, the pituitary gland enlarges and forms a benign tumor. This tumor  secretes excessive amounts of multiple proteins, which leads to significant increases in the stress hormone cortisol. This elevation in cortisol and other proteins result in excessive hair growth, excessive drinking and urination and laminitis. In humans and dogs, high levels of cortisol can also lead to inappropriate blood clotting. The student evaluated horses with PPID to determine whether they also exhibit inappropriate blood clotting. To test for clotting, the student drew blood from horses with PPID and without PPID and examined the process of clot formation to the point when the clot is broken down. The testing method in this study examined both blood cells and plasma (the liquid portion of blood) and looked at the plasma proteins that are considered to be accurate indicators of coagulation. The results of this study indicate that, in contrast to dogs and humans,horses with PPID are not at higher risk for the formation of blood clots compared to normal horses.

Tufts University, Jennifer Mahon





Posted by MAFon December 20, 2010.

Categories: Horse diseases, Horse health, Veterinary students


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