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Equine Inflammatory Disease



For the quantitative determination of haptoglobin in horses

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Clinical Background



Equine-specific haptoglobin (HPT), an acute phase protein, produced mainly in the liver as  response to inflammation and the release of cytokines. Serum HPT has been shown to be an effective measure of general inflammation. The concentration of HPT correlates to both the severity and duration of the inflammatory stimuli.

Acute phase proteins constitute a group of proteins (e.g., CRP, haptoglobin, serum amyloid A) which are part of the innate host defense system. Their blood concentration changes rapidly in response to any tissue damaging causes such as infection, immune-mediated disorders, neoplasia, trauma, and others. HPT decreases rapidly when inflammatory stimulation is no longer present.

A low inflammatory state is healthy, however HPT has a role in removing free hemoglobin to prevent kidney damage and to return iron stores. Therefore, HPT levels can be decreased in severe liver disease and hemolytic anemia, particularly intravascular.

 Sandwich Immunoassay 
Units (Range)  mg/dL (0.5-500)
Sample Requirements  Serum≥1mL; SST tube / separate & freeze within 45 min
Interferences  Gross hemolysis / Gross lipemia
Stability  Room temp: 24 hour / 4 °C: 7 days / -20 °C: 1 year






 Hpt header

Chronic inflammation is both associated with, and the root-cause of disease. Left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to disease advancement and even death.


HPTEQUINE is a blood test that detects systemic inflammation in response to infection, tissue damage, neoplasia, and trauma. The test is used to confirm the presence of inflammatory disease, detect hidden disorders, monitor the effectiveness of treatment, and assure complication-free recovery.


HPT & The Inflammatory Process

Inflammation Cascade


The acute phase response is a complex, systemic early-defense system activated by infection, inflammation, trauma and tissue damage or necrosis. Although nonspecific, it serves as a core of the innate immune response. It involves physical and molecular barriers and responses that serve to prevent infection, clear potential pathogens, initiate inflammatory processes, and contribute to resolution and the healing process.

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Surgical trauma
  • Tissue necrosis






Haptoglobin (HPT), serves as a moderate acute phase protein in horses. Levels of circulating Hpt elevate rapidly upon initiation of an inflammatory event. HPT serves as an index of both the severity and duration of the inflammatory stimulation. Once the trigger of the inflammation is resolved, HPT levels drop back to normal levels.


Damage Associated with Chronic Inflammation

"Acute Inflammation Defends, Chronic Inflammation Kills"Inflammation Starburst
Acute (short-term) inflammation is a vital life-sustaining function. The complex cascade of events that occurs is needed to initiate a defense against invading bacteria and to repair tissue damage that occurs from trauma, infection, and disease.

While acute inflammation is normally tightly controlled and part of the healing process, chronic (long-term) inflammation is associated with a number of diseases.




Clinical Applications


  • Health Screen - detect subclinical disease
  • Monitor disease progression & response to treatment

Hpt Responsive

Monitor therapy

There is a direct correlation between HPT concentration and the severity and duration of the inflammation.  Hence if therapy is successful, HPT will drop quickly.  This is useful to monitor the treatment of infections and diseases that induce an inflammatory response.  HPT concentrations will react to changing states within the horse within hours making it a very useful measurement for “real-time” monitoring.



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