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Table 3 Baseline clinical characteristics of racehorses at the time of inclusion and during the study period

From: Pro-inflammatory cytokines and structural biomarkers are effective to categorize osteoarthritis phenotype and progression in Standardbred racehorses over five years of racing career

  PTOA-group
(n = 37)
Healthy subjects
(n = 37)
Standardbred racehorses with at least 6 months of training at the time of inclusion, no. (%) 35 (94 %) 37 (100 %)
Gender, no. (%) male/no. (%) female/no. (%) gelding/no. (%) 16 (43 %)/12 (32 %)/9 (24 %) 11 (29 %)/16 (43 %)/10 (27 %)
Age at the moment of the enrolment (months) 32 (27–35) 34 (29–35)
Disease duration, referring to the lameness identification (days) 5 (2–19)
Administration of anti-inflammatory therapy before diagnosis, no. (%) 5 (14 %)
Lameness score at clinical examination (0–5 scale) 2 (2–3) 0
Flexion test response in the affected leg at clinical examination (0–3 scale) 2 (1–3) 0
Horses sound after intra-articular analgesia with mepivacaine, no. (%) 22 (61 %)
Horses sound after low 4-points-metacarpal (6-points-metatarsal) nerve block, no. (%) 15 (39 %)
Radiographic score of the affected fetlock joint at T0 (0–33 scale) 5 (2–11) 0
Osteochondral fragmentation at the dorsal border of the proximal phalanx, no. (%) 9 (24 %)
MRI findings of subchondral bone trauma in the metacarpal/metatarsal epiphysis or subchondral bone of the proximal phalanx, no. (%) 3 (8 %)
Horses with haemarthrosis in the synovial fluid at clinical presentation, no. (%) 4 (11 %)
US findings of fetlock joint synovitis (thickening of the dorsal plica, increased synovial fluid) 29 (76 %)
Arthroscopic surgery to remove osteochondral fragmentation, no. (%) 8 (21 %)
Animals treated intra-articularlya, no. (%) 28 (76 %)
Animal treated intravenously or intramuscularlyb, no. (%) 8 (21 %)
Days of box-rest after traumatic fetlock OA, before to gain training 42 (28–198)  
Animals retired because additional muscoloskeletal injuries or other medical problems during the study period, no. (%) 9 (24 %) 17 (46 %)
Animals exluded because they were positive at doping controls/received corticosteroids intra-articularly, no. (%) 3 (8 %) 4 (11 %)
Animals that completed the time-course of the study, no. (%) 25 (68 %) 16 (43 %)
  1. Abbreviations: MRI magnetic resonace imaging, US ultrasound
  2. aDrugs administered intra-articularly were: Interleukin-1-Receptor-Antagonist-Protein (IL-1Ra), hyaluronate, polysulfated glycosaminoglycan
  3. bDrugs administered intramuscularly or intravenously were: Tiludronate (IV or IM) and polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (IV)
  4. Except where indicated otherwise, values are the median (range or percentage in brackets) in all the patients