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Nephrosplenic space closure significantly decreases recurrent colic in horses: a retrospective analysis
  1. José Manuel Arévalo Rodríguez,
  2. Sigrid Grulke,
  3. Alexandra Salciccia and
  4. Geoffroy de la Rebière de Pouyade
  1. Department of Companion Animals and Equids, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr José Manuel Arévalo Rodríguez; jmarevalo{at}


Background Nephrosplenic space closure is commonly used to reduce relapse of nephrosplenic space entrapment in cases of left dorsal displacement of the left colon (LDDLC). Nevertheless, studies documenting the effectiveness of this surgery are sparse in the literature. The aim of this study was to analyse clinical data of horses presented for LDDLC and evaluate the effect of nephrosplenic space closure on the incidence of colic recurrence.

Methods Medical records of 156 horses diagnosed with LDDLC at the Equine Clinic of the University of Liège between 2004 and 2016 were retrieved for analysis. Extracted data included horse breed, sex, age and weight, initial treatment, and if a subsequent preventive surgical closure of the nephrosplenic space was carried out or not. Follow-up information was obtained by telephone interview. Statistical analyses were performed using a chi-squared test with significance set at P<0.05.

Results Follow-up data were available for 65 per cent of horses. The mean follow-up was 35 months. There was a significant decrease in the total incidence of colic after closure surgery compared with non-operated horses. No horse was diagnosed with LDDLC after closure of the nephrosplenic space.

Conclusion Closure of the nephrosplenic space significantly decreases recurrent colic in horses compared with non-operated horses.

  • horses
  • surgery
  • laparoscopy
  • colic
  • treatment
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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