Digital Starling forces and hemodynamics during early laminitis induced by an aqueous extract of black walnut (Juglans nigra) in horses. Academic Article uri icon


  • Starling forces and hemodynamics in the digits of 5 horses were studied during early laminitis induced by oral administration of an aqueous extract of black walnut (Juglans nigra). The black walnut extract was prepared from heartwood shavings and was administered by nasogastric tube. Heart and respiratory rates, rectal temperature, central venous and arterial pressures, digital pulses, and signs of lameness were monitored. Blood samples were collected for determination of WBC count, hemoglobin concentration, and PCV and for endotoxin and tumor necrosis factor assays. Total WBC count and central venous pressure were monitored until they decreased by 30 or 20%, respectively. These decreases in WBC count and central venous pressure were observed 2 to 3 hours after dosing with black walnut extract. Respiratory and heart rates, body temperature, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, PCV, and hemoglobin concentration did not change significantly. Anesthesia was induced, heparin (500 IU/kg of body weight) was administered IV, and a pump-perfused extracorporeal digital preparation was established. Digital arterial and venous pressures were maintained at 100 and 30 mm of Hg, respectively. Blood flow, capillary pressure, lymph and plasma protein concentrations, and weight of the isolated digit during rapid increase in venous pressure were measured. Isogravimetric capillary filtration coefficient, vascular compliance, vascular and tissue oncotic pressures, tissue pressure, osmotic reflection coefficient, and precapillary and postcapillary resistances were calculated. Mean digital blood flow was 14 ml/min/100 capillary pressure was 52 mm of Hg, and vascular compliance was 0.06 ml/mm of Hg. The vascular and tissue oncotic pressures were 21.49 and 4.93 mm of Hg, respectively. The osmotic reflection coefficient was 0.71, and tissue pressure was 41 mm of Hg. The precapillary and postcapillary resistances were 7 and 2 mm of Hg/ml, respectively. Capillary permeability to proteins was not significantly different from that previously measured in healthy horses, suggesting that the increased capillary filtration coefficient reflected increased capillary hydrostatic pressure and perfusion of previously nonperfused capillaries. Neither endotoxin nor serum tumor necrosis factor activity was detected in any samples. The hemodynamic and Starling forces observed in this study were similar to those observed after laminitis was induced by administration of a carbohydrate gruel. Significant differences between the 2 models were detected for total vascular resistance, postcapillary resistance, and capillary filtration coefficient. It is likely that these differences were identified because the horses administered the black walnut extract were at an earlier stage in the disease process. The findings of this study suggest that the increase in capillary pressure causes transvascular fluid movement, resulting in increased tissue pressure and edema. We hypothesize that further increases in tissue pressure may collapse capillary beds and lead to tissue ischemia.

published proceedings

  • Am J Vet Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Eaton, S. A., Allen, D., Eades, S. C., & Schneider, D. A.

citation count

  • 77

complete list of authors

  • Eaton, SA||Allen, D||Eades, SC||Schneider, DA

publication date

  • October 1995