[en] pregnancy-associated glycoprotein-1 ; progesterone ; early fetal loss ; heat stress ; dairy cattle
[en] The present study was designed to establish whether plasma pregnancy-associated glycoprotein-1 (PAG-1) measurements during the early fetal period can be associated with early fetal loss. Blood samples were obtained and ultrasound controls performed on days 35, 42, 49, 56, and 63 of gestation or until pregnancy loss from 98 lactating dairy cows. Radioimmunoassay systems were used to determine PAG-1 and progesterone concentrations. Of the 98 pregnancies investigated 18 (18.4%) suffered early fetal loss: 15 (18.5%) in cows carrying singletons, and 3 (16.7%) in twin pregnancies. In cows suffering pregnancy loss, all living embryos registered on day 35 seemed normal in size and development in all weekly ultrasound controls before fetal expulsion. Using analysis of variance, plasma PAG-1 and progesterone values were not different between no loss and fetal loss groups for every gestation period. Based on the odds ratio, and considering only PAG-1 values obtained on day 35 of gestation, the risk of fetal loss was 10 and 6.8 times more likely in cows with low (< 2.5 ng/ml) and high (> 4 ng/ml) PAG-1 values, respectively, than in cows with medium PAG-1 values, used as reference. Of the 10 inseminating bulls included in the study, one was related to increased fetal loss by odds ratio of 21.7, whereas one bull was attributed fetal loss rate reduced by odds ratio of 12.5 (1/0.08) These findings can have a clear clinical application: PAG-1 measurements from one single sample taken on clay 35 of gestation provided more useful information than a series of values obtained from day 35 to 63 of gestation, and can be indicators of subsequent fetal loss. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.