Clinical Use and Characteristics of the Corticosteroids

J. Daniel Harkins, John M. Carney, Thomas Tobin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Corticosteroids possess potent anti-inflammatory activity and are commonly injected intra-articularly for local relief of inflammatory lesions in performance horses. However, the suppression of anabolic activity in the joint may lead to an increased rate of joint breakdown. Complications associated with intra-articular corticosteroid therapy include septic arthritis, which is usually due to inadvertent joint contamination at the time of corticosteroid injection, and steroid arthropathy, which is characterized by an accelerated rate of joint destruction and radiographic evidence of severe degenerative joint disease. Prognosis for both of these conditions is poor. Adverse effects of systemic corticosteroid therapy includes suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal system, increased susceptibility to infection, and laminitis; however, moderate use of glucocorticoids does not permanently affect adrenal function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-562
Number of pages20
JournalVeterinary Clinics of North America - Equine Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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