Potential hemo-biological identification markers to the left displaced abomasum in dairy cows

Yuxiang Song, Juan J. Loor, Chenchen Zhao, Dan Huang, Xiliang Du, Xiaobing Li, Zhe Wang, Guowen Liu, Xinwei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Left displaced abomasum (LDA) occurs at high frequency in the early postpartum period and can affect production performance of dairy cows. Clinical diagnosis of LDA is usually done by abdominal auscultation and percussion. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential applicability of blood biomarkers for early warning and diagnosis of LDA in dairy cows. Results: Twenty early postpartum healthy cows and thirty early postpartum LDA cows of similar parity were used. A receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) method was used to analyze the sensitivity of hematological biomarkers to LDA including energy balance metabolic biomarkers, liver/kidney function biomarkers, and minerals. A cut-off point was defined for each of the selected hematological biomarkers deemed sensitive markers of LDA. Compared with healthy cows, body condition score (BCS), dry matter intake (DMI) and milk production were lower in LDA cows. Among energy metabolism markers, serum non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA), β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA), insulin (INS), and revised quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (RQUICKI) levels were lower while serum glucagon (GC) was greater in LDA cows. Among the liver/kidney function biomarkers, activities of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), the ratio of AST/ALT and levels of total bilirubin (TBIL), direct bilirubin (DBIL), indirect bilirubin (IBIL), albumin (ALB), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and total protein (TP) were greater in LDA cows. Among minerals analyzed, serum Cl, Ca, and K were lower in LDA cows. After ROC analysis, it was determined that serum Ca, INS, RQUICKI, ALT, GGT, and creatinine are potential indicators for early warning and diagnosis of LDA for early postpartum dairy cows. Conclusions: Dairy cows with LDA were under severe negative energy balance (NEB), had signs of liver damage and potentially lower insulin sensitivity. A combination of multi-hematological biomarkers including Ca, INS, RQUICKI, ALT, GGT and creatinine has the potential to help identify cows at risk of LDA in the early postpartum period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number470
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Dairy cow
  • Disease identification
  • Hematological biomarkers
  • Left displaced abomasum
  • Negative energy balance
  • ROC curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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