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Equine Vet J Suppl. 2006 Aug;(36):285-90.

Hydration of exercised standardbred racehorses assessed noninvasively using multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis.

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Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.



In human and animal clinical practice, multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MF-BIA) is increasingly used as a diagnostic tool to assess hydration of intra-and extracellular fluid compartments. Accurate determination of changes in hydration status within individuals over time has remained problematic due to the requirement for complete impedance-frequency relationships at the time points of interest.


To use MF-BIA in 13 Standardbred racehorses and 7 'endurance' research horses to determine if MF-BIA could be used to track changes in total body water (TBW), intracellular fluid volume (ICFV) and extracellular fluid volume (ECFV) resulting from exercise.


Jugular venous blood was sampled at rest and for 2-13 h following exercise. TBW, ECFV and plasma volume (PV) were measured at rest using indicator dilution techniques (D2O, thiocyanate and Evans Blue, respectively). TBW, ECFV, ICFV and PV were correlated to impedance measures and predictive equations used to determine hydration status from MF-BIA measures.


TBW loss continued throughout the recovery period, and was primarily borne by the ECF compartment at 90 min of recovery.


MF-BIA predictions of compartmental hydration status were significantly correlated to measured/calculated decreases in these compartments.


Practical applications for MF-BIA in horses include monitoring of hydration status during transport and competition, assessment of body compostion, clinical health assessment and critical care management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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