Comparison of one novel and four established diagnostic tests for insulin dysregulation in ponies

H.B. Carslake*, G.L. Pinchbeck, C.M. Argo, A.H.A. Dugdale, C.M. McGowan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Several tests have been advocated for diagnosis of insulin dysregulation (ID). Tests using simple sugars may not reflect the response to naturally ingested carbohydrates. This study aimed to evaluate agreement between the oral glucose test (OGT), the oral sugar test (OST), a novel oral test using a proprietary cereal (WEET), the IV combined glucose-insulin tolerance test (CGIT) and fasted basal insulin (FI) for diagnosis of ID. Each of the five tests above was performed on a group of six normal and six insulin dysregulated mixed-breed ponies in a randomised crossover study. Area under the curve (AUC) and maximum concentration of insulin from OGT, OST and WEET showed strong to very strong bivariate correlations (r = 0.85-0.94, and r = 0.87-0.92, respectively; P ≤ 0.001) and were significantly different between tests (associated with dose of carbohydrate) and between CGIT-positive and -negative ponies. Dichotomous results showed substantial agreement between OST and both WEET (κ = 0.65; P = 0.02) and OGT (κ = 0.67; P = 0.01) and between CGIT and both OST (κ = 0.63; P = 0.03) and OGT (κ = 0.67; P = 0.01), and no agreement between FI, which had low sensitivity, and all other tests (κ = 0.15 – 0.31; P > 0. 05). Palatability of WEET was variable, resulting in one pony being excluded for analysis of WEET data. Further work on development of an oral test using a more palatable feedstuff and appropriate cut-offs or diagnostic thresholds for tests of ID is warranted.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106059
    Number of pages29
    JournalThe Veterinary Journal
    Early online date14 Dec 2023
    Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2024


    • Carbohydrate
    • Diagnosis
    • Equine metabolic syndrome
    • Laminitis


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