Med. Weter. 69 (11), 655-661, 2013

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Racewicz P., Jaśkowski J.M.:
Contemporary methods of early pregnancy diagnosis in cows
Contemporary methods used in early pregnancy diagnosis (ePD) in cows have been presented. Despite many new diagnostic tests, the choice methods still remain per rectum palpation and ultrasound examinations (US). The clinical examination is performed about 35 days post insemination, US at about 28 days. When compared to per rectum examination, early ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis (eUSPD) in cows enables an earlier diagnosis or exclusion of pregnancy, confirming of viability and/or evaluation of fetus growth. Ultrasound imaging is a relatively simple and safe noninvasive technique. Accuracy (ACC), sensitivity and negative predictive value for pregnancy diagnosis using miniature, portable ultrasounds equipped with sector or linear probes assessed in 30th day after insemination is 83, 83.2 and 79.6% or 89.4, 95.2 and 91.9% respectively. Relatively low accuracy of ultrasound examination depends of both false negative and positive results. Accuracy is also influenced by such factors as: operator’s experience, technical parameters of the apparatus, individual traits of animals, and environmental conditions. Accuracy of eUSPD could be lowered in the case of pregnancy loss. Included in indirect methods of pregnancy diagnosis is examination consisting in qualitative and quantitative detection of specific substances in systemic fluids (blood, plasma and cot) produced during pregnancy. These are: early pregnancy factor ECF detection, progesterone concentration, PAG, IGF-1 and estrogen, test of specific protein B (PBSP) in blood plasma concentration. On the other hand, highly useful in the evaluation of embryo mortality in early pregnancy is the estimation of pregnancy protein DG29. However, due to their low efficiency (time consuming and low accuracy) these tests are not widely applied in practice. All methods of pregnancy diagnosis in cows should be characterized by high accuracy. Most of them have those features, but none of them combine all of them. It would seem that in the future early pregnancy diagnosis should be directed toward diagnosing based on quick, sensitive and inexpensive qualitative tests as well as completing ultrasound examinations.
Key words: Early pregnancy diagnosis, ultrasound, BPSP, PAG, IGF-1, progesterone, cows