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Clinical features and hormonal profiles of cloprostenol-induced early abortions in heifers monitored by ultrasonography

Fikre Lobago13, Hans Gustafsson2, Merga Bekana3, Jean-François Beckers4 and Hans Kindahl1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7054, SE-750 07, Uppsala, Sweden

2 Swedish Dairy Association, SE-63184, Uppsala, Sweden

3 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 34, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia

4 Department of Physiology of Animal Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2006, 48:23  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-48-23

Published: 23 November 2006



The present study describes the clinical features and plasma profiles of bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein 1 (bPAG1), the main metabolite of prostaglandin F(PG metabolite) and progesterone (P4) in heifers in which early abortions were induced.


Early abortions were induced in four heifers with cloprostenol and monitored by ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected and the plasma were analyzed for bPAG 1, P4 and PG metabolite.


The foetal heartbeat rates varied from 170–186 beats per minute for all foetuses up to the date of cloprostenol treatment. Foetal death was confirmed within two days after cloprostenol treatment. Prior to cloprostenol injection, blood plasma concentrations of bPAG1, PG metabolite and P4 varied from 8.4 – 40.0 ng/mL, 158 – 275 pmol/L and 20.7 – 46.9 nmol/L, respectively. After the foetus expelled, the plasma level of bPAG1 began to decrease but the decrease was small and gradual. The estimated half-life of bPAG1 was 1.8 – 6.6 days. The plasma level of the PG metabolite started to have short lasting peaks (above 300 pmol/L) within three hours after cloprostenol treatment. The plasma concentrations of P4 dropped sharply to less than 4 nmol/L after 24 hours of cloprostenol injection.


The current findings indicated that after early closprostenol-induced foetal death, the plasma concentration of bPAG1 decreased gradually and showed a tendency of variation with the stages of pregnancy.