Original Research

Perioperative plasma cortisol concentration in the horse

G.F. Stegmann, R.S. Jones
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 69, No 4 | a842 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v69i4.842 | © 1998 G.F. Stegmann, R.S. Jones | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 July 1998 | Published: 13 July 1998

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G.F. Stegmann,
R.S. Jones,

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Abstract

The cortisol response to anaesthesia and surgery was studied in 2 groups of horses undergoing either abdominal or non-abdominal surgery. The preoperative mean plasma cortisol concentration (pcc) of 381.7 nmol/ℓ (s.d. 254.7) was markedly higher in the abdominal group than the early-morning mean pcc of 115.6 nmol/ℓ (s.d. 78.4) in the non-abdominal group. During halothane anaesthesia and surgery themeanpcc increased significantly (p< 0.05) from the preoperativemeanof 119.2 to 215.9 nmol/ℓ (s.d. 79.8) after 30 min of surgery in the non-abdominal group. In the abdominal group a decrease occurred after induction of anaesthesia and surgical preparation, but increased during surgery to a mean pcc of 418.1 nmol/ℓ (s.d. 236.5). In the postoperative period a large decrease in the mean pcc occurred after 24 h in the abdominal group. It was only after 60 h that the pcc (153.2 nmol/ℓ ) equalled the pcc of the non-abdominal group (171.4 nmol/ℓ ) at 24 h . The slow decline over 60 h could be an indication of the prolonged recovery associated with abdominal surgery in the horse.

Keywords

Anaesthesia; Cortisol; Horse; Surgery

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