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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 May 1;226(9):1529-37.

Prevalence and risk factors associated with outcome of surgical removal of pedunculated lipomas in horses: 102 cases (1987-2002).

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.



To determine the prevalence of pedunculated lipomas and identify risk factors affecting postoperative complications and survival in horses at a veterinary teaching hospital undergoing surgery for colic caused by pedunculated lipomas.


Retrospective study.


102 horses with a diagnosis of pedunculated lipoma.


Age, breed, weight, and sex of horses with pedunculated lipomas were compared with the total equine hospital population and the population of horses admitted for abdominal surgery during the same period. Follow-up information was obtained by reevaluation or contact with owners via telephone or written request.


Prevalence of pedunculated lipomas as a reason for abdominal surgery in horses, compared with the population of horses with and without lipomas admitted for abdominal surgery, was 10%. Castrated male Saddlebred and Arabian horses > 14 years old were identified as being at risk for developing pedunculated lipomas. Postoperative complications were detected in 72% of horses with pedunculated lipomas. Variables associated with low survival rates included surgery before 1992, heart rate > 80 beats/min, abnormal color of abdominal fluid, pale mucous membranes, surgery requiring intestinal resection, and inability to attain a mean arterial pressure > or = 100 mm Hg. Horses undergoing surgery from 1992 to 1996, weighing < 409 kg (900 lb), or requiring jejunojejunal anastomosis had a high survival rate.


Although many of the variables reflected the health of the horse at the time of surgery, results may help veterinarians recognize risk factors associated with development of pedunculated lipomas and better predict the outcome of horses undergoing surgery for colic caused by pedunculated lipomas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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