Evaluation of the efficacy of various preparations of sodium hyaluronate in an induced equine carpitis model Academic Article uri icon


  • A study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of three formulations of sodium hyaluronate in an induced carpitis model. Sixteen healthy mature Quarter Horse type horses free of lameness and carpal disease had carpitis induced by injection of Complete Freund's Adjuvant in the left radial carpal joint. Five days after model induction the horses were assigned to four groups of four horses each and treated with either placebo, intravenous sodium hyaluronate, intraarticular low molecular weight sodium hyaluronate or intraarticular high molecular weight sodium hyaluronate. Lameness variables and synovial fluid variables were measured prior to model induction, just prior to treatment and across 16 weeks post treatment. Radiographs were taken prior to model induction and at six and 16 weeks post treatment. An attempt to evaluate exercise tolerance was also made. Gross and histopathology were performed on one randomly selected animal from each treatment group at week 16. Results confirmed efficacy of all formulations of sodium hyaluronate in the relief of lameness as compared to placebo. Model induction led to a dramatic decrease in synovial fluid hyaluronate concentration and mean molecular weight. All treatments restored the hyaluronate concentrations to premodel normal levels and all treatments led to an increase in model induced deficits in mean molecular weight of synovial fluid hyaluronate; only the high molecular weight intraarticular preparation restored the mean molecular weight to premodel normal levels. Statistically significant findings in the lameness data along with trends seen in synovial fluid parameters support improved efficacy and longer duration of efficacy for the high molecular weight sodium hyaluronate preparation. Statistical weaknesses due to small group sizes and design flaws in the study prevented definitive conclusions.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Equine Veterinary Science

author list (cited authors)

  • White, G. W., Stites, T., Hamm, J., & Pool, R.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • White, Gary W||Stites, Trent||Hamm, Jack||Pool, Roy

publication date

  • May 1999