Evaluation of updated sepsis scoring systems and systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria and their association with sepsis in equine neonates

D. M. Wong, R. E. Ruby, K. A. Dembek, B. S. Barr, S. M. Reuss, K. G. Magdesian, E. Olsen, T. Burns, N. M. Slovis, P. A. Wilkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: The original equine sepsis score provided a method of identifying foals with sepsis. New variables associated with sepsis have been evaluated, but the sepsis score has not been updated. Objectives: To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of 2 updated sepsis scores and the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria in regard to detecting sepsis in foals. Animals: Two-hundred and seventy-three ill foals and 25 healthy control foals. Methods: Historical, physical examination, and clinicopathologic findings were used to calculate the original sepsis score and 2 updated sepsis scores. SIRS criteria were also evaluated. Sepsis scores and positive SIRS scores were statistically compared to foals with sepsis. Results: One-hundred and twenty-six foals were septic and 147 sick-nonseptic. The original and updated sepsis scores were significantly higher in septic foals as compared to sick-nonseptic and healthy foals. The sensitivity and specificity of the updated sepsis scores to predict sepsis were not significantly better than those of the original sepsis score. One-hundred and twenty-seven of 273 (46.5%) foals met the original SIRS criteria and 88/273 (32%) foals met the equine neonatal SIRS criteria. The original SIRS criteria had similar sensitivity and specificity for predicting sepsis as did the 3 sepsis scores in our study. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: The updated sepsis scores did not provide improved ability in predicting sepsis. Fulfilling the original SIRS criteria provided similar sensitivity and specificity in predicting sepsis as the modified sepsis score and might serve as a diagnostic aid in identifying foals at risk for sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1193
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.


  • SIRS
  • foal
  • infection
  • septic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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