Prognostic Value of Cardiac Troponin I and L-Lactate in Blood of Dairy Cows Affected by Downer Cow Syndrome.

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The downer cow syndrome (DCS) is a challenging health issue in the dairy industry. No cow-side test is available to provide an accurate prognosis for DCS cases in farm settings.


Local or systemic hypoperfusion and myocardial lesions lead to an increase in blood concentration of biomarkers cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and L-lactate. The objective was to determine the prognostic values of these biomarkers assessed cow-sides in addition to clinical examinations in prognostication of a negative outcome (NO: death or euthanasia within 7 days).


218 client-owned dairy cows affected by DCS.


In a prospective study, animals were monitored for 60 days after inclusion of each cow. Blood cTnI and L-lactate concentrations were measured on the day of inclusion. The prognostic accuracy of both biomarkers and physical examination variables was estimated to predict NO. A mixed multivariable logistic regression model was used for data analysis.


Prevalence of NO in this study was 63% on day 7. Troponin concentrations greater than 0.7 ng/mL had sensitivity and specificity of 54.1% (95% CI: 45.3-62.7%) and 78.4% (95% CI: 67.3-87.1%), respectively, for predicting NO. Blood L-lactate was not associated with the outcome. The multivariable model revealed that heart rate >100 bpm (OR; 95% CI: 3.7; 1.3-10.2) and cTnI > 0.7 ng/mL (OR; 95% CI: 5.5; 2.1-14.6) were associated with the risk of NO.


Hypertroponinemia and tachycardia were associated with reduced survival in DCS cases. The use of cow-side blood cTnI concentrations and heart rate could help to rapidly identify cows in farm setting that have poor chances of recovery and would benefit from a more aggressive treatment or euthanasia.

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