Influence of clinical and experimental intra-articular inflammation on neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin concentrations in horses

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Objective: To investigate neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) concentrations in serum and synovial fluid (SF) from horses with joint inflammation. Study design: Experimental studies and retrospective clinical study. Sample population: Serum and SF samples were available from healthy horses (n = 19), clinical cases, and horses with experimental joint inflammation. Clinical cases included horses with (n = 10) or without (n = 10) septic arthritis. Experimental intra-articular inflammation was induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS; n = 7, severe inflammation), lidocaine (n = 6, moderate inflammation), or mepivacaine (n = 6, mild inflammation). Methods: Availability of samples was based on approval from the local ethical committee and from the Danish Animal Experiments Inspectorate. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin was measured with a previously validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Repeated-measurements one- and two-way analysis of variance and correlation analysis were used to analyze NGAL concentrations and white blood cell counts (WBC). Results: After injection of LPS or lidocaine, SF NGAL concentrations increased 343- (P =.0035) and 60-fold (P =.0038) relative to baseline, respectively. Serum NGAL also increased in both groups (P <.05) but to lower concentrations than in SF. Concentrations were higher after injection of lidocaine SF NGAL than after injection of mepivacaine (P <.05) at 6 and 12 hours. Synovial fluid concentrations of NGAL were higher in horses with septic arthritis than in the nonseptic group (P =.0070) and in healthy controls (P =.0071). Concentrations of NGAL correlated with WBC in SF (P <.0001, R2 = 0.49) and in blood (P =.0051, R2 = 0.27). Conclusion: Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin concentrations increased in SF in response to experimentally induced and naturally occurring joint inflammation. Synovial fluid NGAL concentration correlated with WBC and, thus, seems to reflect intensity of joint inflammation. Clinical significance: Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin may prove to be a useful biomarker of joint inflammation and infection in horses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)641-649
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 256514961