Effect of pentoxifylline treatment on testicular perfusion and semen quality in Miniature horse stallions

Malgorzata A. Pozor, Jennifer Muehlhaus, Alana King, Margo L. Macpherson, Mats H. Troedsson, Christopher S. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The objective was to investigate the effects of pentoxifylline (PTX) on testicular perfusion and sperm production in stallions. In a preliminary study, six mature Miniature horse stallions were given 0, 8.5, or 17.0 mg/kg of PTX orally, twice daily, for 3 d. Total Arterial Blood Flow Rate (TABFR) was higher (P < 0.05) in all treated versus control stallions during and after treatment. Two months later (during the fall and winter), the same stallions received either 0 or 17 mg/kg of PTX orally, twice daily for 60 d. Resistance and pulsatility indices (RI and PI, respectively) decreased in PTX-treated stallions between Treatment 1 and Post-treatment periods. Arterial diameter, as well as Total Arterial Blood Flow (TABF), decreased in controls between Baseline and Treatment 1 (P < 0.05). A similar decrease in arterial diameter was delayed in Group TREATED, but reached significance during Post-treatment (P < 0.05), whereas TABF did not change in this group. Furthermore, TABFR had a transient tendency to increase during Treatment 1 (P < 0.1), whereas it steadily decreased in controls and reached significance in the Post-treatment period (P < 0.05). Both RI and PI were negatively correlated with end diastolic velocity (EDV) in both groups (P < 0.0001). There were positive correlations between RI and peak systolic velocity (PSV) in treated stallions during Treatment 1 (RI: r = 0.53, P = 0.021; PI: r = 0.59, P = 0.007). Also, there were negative correlations between Time Averaged Maximum Velocity (TAMAX) and Doppler indexes in treated stallions during Treatment 2 period (RI: r = -0.49, P = 0.006; PI: r = -0.47, P = 0.008), and during Post-treatment periods (RI: r = -0.40, P = 0.049; PI: r = -042, P = 0.039). Transient hydrocele occurred in all treated stallions (a potential complication of high-dose PTX). Semen end points were not significantly affected by PTX treatment. In conclusion, PTX delayed the seasonal decrease of testicular perfusion in stallions. Sperm quality and quantity were not significantly affected; perhaps they would have been enhanced by prolonged treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1035
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by Pari-mutuel Wagering Trust. Allie Wenzel and Susanne Benson assisted in animal handling and care.


  • Color Doppler ultrasound
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Semen
  • Stallion
  • Testicular perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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