Use of a low-volume uterine flush for microbiologic and cytologic examination of the mare's endometrium

B. A. Ball, S. J. Shin, V. H. Patten, D. H. Lein, G. L. Woods

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82 Scopus citations


A guarded uterine swab and a low-volume uterine flush were compared for microbiologic and cytologic examination of the endometrium of young, normal mares (n = 24) and aged, subfertile mares (n = 27). Mares from each group had clitoral sinus swabs, guarded endometrial swabs (X2), uterine flushes and endometrial biopsy samples taken for microbiologic, cytologic and histologic examination. The guarded swab technique yielded significantly fewer (P < 0.05) microbiologic cultures with pathogenic microorganisms than the flush technique for both normal mares ( 0 24 vs 6 24) and subfertile mares ( 4 27 vs 14 27). The swab technique also yielded significantly fewer (P < 0.05) endometrial smears with cytologic evidence of inflammation than the flush technique for subfertile mares ( 12 27 vs 20 27); however, there was no significant difference (P > 0.1) for the two techniques for cytologic results in normal mares ( 3 24 vs 7 24). Ureaplasma spp. were isolated from the uterine flushes ( 3 27) and clitoral sinus swabs ( 6 27) from subfertile mares. Mycoplasma spp. were isolated from the uterine flush from one subfertile mare and clitoral sinus swab from another subfertile mare. Significantly fewer (P < 0.01) normal than subfertile mares had histologic evidence of inflammation in endometrial tissue sections ( 5 24 vs 25 27). Based on microbiologic and cytologic results, the low-volume uterine flush appeared superior to the guarded endometrial swab for the diagnosis of endometritis in mares.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1283
Number of pages15
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Thornbrook Farms and the Harry M. Zweig Memorial Trust for financial support and Dr. T. French for advice on preparation and interpretation of cytologic specimens. Technical assistance was provided by P. Kelley and K. Roneker.


  • cytology
  • diagnosis
  • endometritis
  • mare
  • microbiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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