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Blood pressure in Warmblood horses before and after a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp


Insulin resistance (IR) in humans is related to hypertension and impaired vasodilation. Insulin administration has been shown to lower blood pressure both in insulin-resistant as well as in insulin-sensitive individuals.


The aim of the study was to investigate the association between insulin sensitivity and alterations in blood pressure in horses before and after a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp (EHC).

Material and methods

A 3-hour EHC was performed in 13 Warmblood horses (11 mares, 2 geldings). All horses were clinically healthy but had variable degrees of insulin sensitivity, were some horses were defined as insulin resistant. Blood samples for analysis of plasma glucose and insulin were collected before the start of the EHC, every 10-min during the EHC and immediately after the EHC. Mean, systolic and diastolic blood pressure was measured before and after the EHC using an indirect oscillometric device. Insulin and glucose data from the EHC were used to calculate the mean rate of glucose disposal per unit of insulin during steady state (M/I-index).


Insulin administration decreased systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure in all horses. The M/I index was positively correlated with the decrease in systolic blood pressure (r2=0.55), but not diastolic and mean arterial pressure.


This study indicates that horses with insulin resistance have a blunted response to the cardiovascular effects of insulin.

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Correspondence to Katarina Nostell.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Nostell, K., Lindåse, S. & Bröjer, J. Blood pressure in Warmblood horses before and after a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. Acta Vet Scand 57, O5 (2015).

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  • Glucose
  • Blood Pressure
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Systolic Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Effect