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Am J Vet Res. 1988 Feb;49(2):184-7.

Estrone sulfate concentrations as an indicator of fetal demise in horses.

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  • 1Research Department, San Diego Zoo, CA 92112.


Serum and urinary estrone sulfate concentrations were determined in 7 pregnant mares before and after prostaglandin-induced abortion (n = 4) or surgical removal of the fetus (n = 3) to determine the source of estrogen during early pregnancy (gestation days [GD] 44 to 89). Estrone sulfate concentrations also were determined in serum samples (stored frozen for 2 years) from 3 mares that had been ovariectomized between GD 51 and 58. Estrone sulfate concentrations decreased in serum and urine after expulsion or removal of the fetus (urinary patterns were more definitive than were patterns for serum), whereas a transient decrease in serum estrone sulfate concentration was observed after ovariectomy. Seemingly, products of conception are the major source of estrone sulfate during early pregnancy, although there appears to be some ovarian contribution. Serum or urinary estrone sulfate measurements provide a simple and accurate test for fetal viability after GD 44 in the mare.

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