Adrenal hormones, ACTH plasma concentrations and the ultrasonographic evaluation of the adrenal glands are considered complementary in clinical evaluations of the hypothalamic– pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function in several species. In dogs, age, size and weight have a significant effect on the ultrasonographic size of the adrenal glands. In neonatal foals, ultrasonographic evaluation and measurements of the adrenal glands have been demonstrated to be reliable; however, the effect of individual variables on ultrasonographic features has not been investigated, and the clinical usefulness of adrenal gland ultrasonography is still not known. The aims of this study were: (i) to provide and compare adrenal glands ultrasound measurements in healthy newborn Thoroughbred and Standardbred foals, and assess any effect of age, weight and sex on them; (ii) to assess and compare ACTH and steroid hormone concentrations in healthy neonatal foals of the two breeds. Venous blood samples and ultrasonographic images of the adrenal glands were collected from 10 healthy neonatal Thoroughbred and 10 healthy neonatal Standardbred foals. Ultrasono-graphic measurements of the adrenal glands were obtained and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone (P4) and aldosterone plasma concentrations were assessed. The ACTH/cortisol, ACTH/progesterone, ACTH/aldosterone, ACTH/DHEA and corti-sol/DHEA ratios were calculated. A significant positive correlation was found between the height of the right adrenal gland and the foal’s weight; the width of the right and left adrenal gland and the medulla was significantly lower in Thoroughbreds than in Standardbreds. Cortisol and ACTH plasma concentrations were significantly higher and lower, respectively, in Thoroughbreds compared with Standardbreds. The cortisol/DHEA ratio was significantly higher in Thoroughbreds. This study provides reference ranges for neonatal Thoroughbred and Standardbred foals, and suggests the presence of breed-related differences in ultrasonographic adrenal gland measurements, plasmatic cortisol and ACTH concentrations. The higher cortisol/DHEA ratio detected in Thoroughbred foals could suggest a different response to environmental stimulation in the two breeds.

Adrenal gland ultrasonographic measurements and plasma hormone concentrations in clinically healthy newborn thoroughbred and standardbred foals

Lauteri E.
;
Beccati F.;Roelfsema E.;Pepe M.;Barbato O.;
2021

Abstract

Adrenal hormones, ACTH plasma concentrations and the ultrasonographic evaluation of the adrenal glands are considered complementary in clinical evaluations of the hypothalamic– pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function in several species. In dogs, age, size and weight have a significant effect on the ultrasonographic size of the adrenal glands. In neonatal foals, ultrasonographic evaluation and measurements of the adrenal glands have been demonstrated to be reliable; however, the effect of individual variables on ultrasonographic features has not been investigated, and the clinical usefulness of adrenal gland ultrasonography is still not known. The aims of this study were: (i) to provide and compare adrenal glands ultrasound measurements in healthy newborn Thoroughbred and Standardbred foals, and assess any effect of age, weight and sex on them; (ii) to assess and compare ACTH and steroid hormone concentrations in healthy neonatal foals of the two breeds. Venous blood samples and ultrasonographic images of the adrenal glands were collected from 10 healthy neonatal Thoroughbred and 10 healthy neonatal Standardbred foals. Ultrasono-graphic measurements of the adrenal glands were obtained and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone (P4) and aldosterone plasma concentrations were assessed. The ACTH/cortisol, ACTH/progesterone, ACTH/aldosterone, ACTH/DHEA and corti-sol/DHEA ratios were calculated. A significant positive correlation was found between the height of the right adrenal gland and the foal’s weight; the width of the right and left adrenal gland and the medulla was significantly lower in Thoroughbreds than in Standardbreds. Cortisol and ACTH plasma concentrations were significantly higher and lower, respectively, in Thoroughbreds compared with Standardbreds. The cortisol/DHEA ratio was significantly higher in Thoroughbreds. This study provides reference ranges for neonatal Thoroughbred and Standardbred foals, and suggests the presence of breed-related differences in ultrasonographic adrenal gland measurements, plasmatic cortisol and ACTH concentrations. The higher cortisol/DHEA ratio detected in Thoroughbred foals could suggest a different response to environmental stimulation in the two breeds.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1494183
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