Background: The use of autologous blood products to treat degenerative tissue disorders is receiving increasing interest. A new procedure using gold particles to stimulate the production of various proteins in patients owns blood (GOLDIC) was investigated.
Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of GOLDIC injections, horses with different lameness-associated diseases were treated. Study Design: Case series.
Materials and Methods: 36 horses (37 cases) with the clinical signs of lameness were enclosed in this study. The causes for lameness was chondromalacia (n=19) or soft tissue disorders (n=18). The horses were treated by four injections of gold-induced, autologous-conditioned serum. The conditioning process included the incubation of the autologous serum with solid gold particles over 24 hours (GOLDIC procedure). 28 patients had undergone a previous therapeutic intervention, whereas 9 had not. Horses were assessed for lameness using the AAEP grading scale (0=no lameness, 5=severe lameness). Swelling and/or effusion were evaluated in an equal scale between 0 and 5 (0=no swelling/effusion, 5=severe swelling/effusion). Scores were collected at pretreatment after one, two, and three weeks, respectively, and after three and six months post-treatment. AAEP grading scale score was defined as the primary parameter. A P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: In all 37 cases, a significant reduction of lameness, effusion (joint group) and swelling (soft tissue disorders group) within 3 weeks after treatment (P<0.05) was found. Up to 3 and 6 months after treatment, all horses were free of symptoms. There were no major side effects noted throughout the study.
Conclusions: This study provides positive evidence for the use of gold-induced, autologous-conditioned serum in different equine lameness-associated diseases.