Use of serum amyloid A in equine medicine and surgery

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Serum amyloid A (SAA) has become an indispensable part of the management of equine patients in general practice and specialized hospital settings. Although several proteins possess acute phase properties in horses, the usefulness of SAA exceeds that of other acute phase proteins. This is due to the highly desirable kinetics of the equine SAA response. SAA concentrations exhibit a rapid and pronounced increase in response to inflammation and a rapid decline after the resolution of inflammation. This facilitates the detection of inflammatory disease and real-time monitoring of inflammatory activity. SAA may be used in all stages of patient management: (1) before diagnosis (to rule in/rule out inflammatory disease), (2) at the time of diagnosis (to assess the severity of inflammation and assist in prognostication), and (3) after diagnosis (to monitor changes in inflammatory activity in response to therapy, with relapse of disease, or with infectious/inflammatory complications). By assessing other acute phase reactants in addition to SAA, clinicians can succinctly stage inflammation. White blood cell counts and serum iron concentration change within hours of an inflammatory insult, SAA within a day, and fibrinogen within 2–3 days; the interrelationship of these markers thus indicates the duration and activity of the inflammatory condition. Much research on the equine SAA response and clinical use has been conducted in the last decade. This is the prerequisite for the evidence-based use of this analyte. However, still today, most published studies involve a fairly low number of horses. To obtain solid evidence for use of SAA, future studies should be designed with larger sample sizes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue numberS1
Pages (from-to)8-18
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author. Veterinary Clinical Pathology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

    Research areas

  • acute phase response, assay, equine, inflammation, SAA

ID: 327474327