Relationship Between Hair Elements and Severity of Atrioventricular Block in Horses

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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between the mean concentrations of trace elements and the severity of the second-degree atrioventricular (AV) block in the mane hair of horses. Electrocar-diographs of horses were continually recorded for 6 h using a holter cardiac monitor to determine dropped ventricular beats (DVBs) which can be used as an indicator of the severity of the AV block. Mane hair Ca, Cu, Mg, and Zn concentrations were measured by the particle-induced X-ray emission method. The Zn/Cu ratio and Ca concentration in mane hair were significantly and positively correlated with the hourly DVBs in horse with a second-degree AV block (p<0.01, r 2 =0.485; p<0.05, r 2 =0.351, respec-tively). Proposed diagnostic cutoff points for hair Ca concentration and Zn/Cu ratio based on receiver operating characteristics curves analysis in detecting second-degree AV block were set at 1536 μg/g and 26.0, respectively. Those results with horse hair suggest that the evaluation of the Ca, Cu, Mg, and Zn status in mane hair by this method is strongly related to the severity of second-degree AV block and might predict the susceptibility of an individual much before the development of the symptom.

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