Determinants and utility of the anion gap in predicting hyperlactatemia in cattle.

Peter D Constable, R. N. Streeter, G. J. Koenig, N. R. Perkins, H. M. Gohar, D. E. Morin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to investigate the determinants of the anion gap (AG) in cattle and to evaluate the utility of AG in detecting hyperlactatemia in sick neonatal calves and adult cattle. The AG was calculated as AG = ([Na+] + [K+])-([Cl-] + [HCO-3]), with all values in mEq/L. The AG of healthy neonatal calves (n = 16) was 29.6 +/- 6.2 mEq/L (mean +/- SD), and the blood L-lactate concentration ranged from 0.5 to 1.2 mM/L. The AG was significantly (P < .05) correlated with serum phosphate (r = .66) and creatinine (r = .51) concentrations. The AG of neonatal calves with experimentally induced diarrhea (n = 16) was 28.6 +/- 5.6 mEq/L, and the blood L-lactate concentration ranged from 1.1 to 2.9 mM/L. The AG was significantly correlated with blood L-lactate concentration (r = .67), serum phosphate concentration (r = .63), creatinine concentration (r = .76), and blood pH (r = -.61). The AG of adult cattle with abomasal volvulus (n = 41) was 20.5 +/- 7.8 mEq/L, and the blood L-lactate concentration ranged from 0.6 to 15.6 mM/L. The AG was significantly correlated with blood L-lactate concentration (r = .60), serum phosphate concentration (r = .71), creatinine concentration (r = .65), albumin concentration (r = .47), total protein concentration (r = .54), blood pyruvate concentration (r = .67), and blood pH (r = -.41) but not plasma beta-OH butyrate concentration. The results indicate that the AG in cattle is only moderately correlated with blood L-lactate concentration and is similarly correlated with serum phosphate and creatinine concentrations in neonatal calves and adult cattle, as well as with serum albumin and total protein concentrations in adult cattle. Anion gap determination is of limited usefulness in predicting blood L-lactate concentration in sick cattle, whereas the correlation between AG and serum creatinine concentration in sick cattle suggests that an increased AG should alert the clinician to the potential presence of uremic anions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine / American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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