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Serum Fructosamine Levels in Dairy Cows Related to Metabolic Status in Early Lactation

Serumnivåer av fruktosamin hos melkekyr i tidlig laktasjon


Serum levels of fructosamine were assayed in 57 samples from 23 Norwegian Red Cattle dairy cows in early lactation. The animals were assigned to a 22 factorial feeding experiment. The groups differed in energy and protein supply. All samples were collected before morning feeding.

The relationship between fructosamine levels and the plasma concentrations of glucose, acetoacetate, free fatty acids, total cholesterol, lipoproteins, triglycerides, total proteins, progesterone and to weight and energy balance was studied. The overall mean fructosamine level was 1.41 ± 0.20 mmol/1 ranging from 0.92–1.92 mmol/1. Significant relationships were recorded between fructosamine and the concentrations of glucose, acetoacetate, free fatty acids, triglyceride, total cholesterol and energy and weight balance. Free fatty acids and cholesterol showed the best correlation with fructosamine (rs =–0.67 and 0.70, respectively, p < 0.001). The levels of fructosamine increased significantly between 2 and 4 weeks and between 4 and 8 weeks after calving. Animals with a weight gain during 3 weeks prior to fructosamine measurement had higher fructosamine levels than those showing a weight loss (<–7 kg/week) (p < 0.05). The results indicate that serum fructosamine levels in cows may be of interest as an indicator of metabolic status in the early stages of lactation.


Fruktosamin ble målt i serum i 57 prøver fra 23 NRF-kyr i tidlig laktasjon. Dyrene deltok i et 22 faktorielt fôringsforsøk hvor gruppeforskjellene framkom ved å gi forskjellige nivåer av energi og protein. Alle prøver ble tatt før morgenfôring.

Fruktosaminnivåene ble relatert til konsentrasjonen av glukose, acetoacetat, frie fettsyrer, total kolesterol, lipoproteiner, triglycerider, total protein og progesteron i plasma og til vekt- og energi-balanse.

Gjennomsnittlig fruktosaminnivå var 1.41 ± 0.20 mmol/1, med variasjon fra 0.92 til 1.92 mmol/l. Signifikante relasjoner ble påvist mellom fruktosaminnivå og konsentrasjonene av glukose, acetoacetat, frie fettsyrer, triglycerider og kolesterol og mellom fruktosaminnivå og vekt- og energibalanse.

Høyest korrelasjon ble funnet mellom fruktosamin og frie fettsyrer og kolesterol, henholdsvis rs= −0.67 og 0.70, (p < 0.001). Nivåene av fruktosamin økte signifikant fra 2 til 4 og 8 uker etter kalving (p < 0.05).

Resultatene indikerer at målinger av fruktosamin i serum kan være av interesse som en indikator på stoffskifteforandringer i tidlig laktasjon hos ku.


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The fructosamine assay was performed by Dr. Kenneth Try, Aker Hospital, Oslo. Karl Halse is acknowledged for his constructive criticism during the preparation of this manuscript. Finally I wish to thank Lill-Wenche Fredriksen and Stein Rune Eriksen for excellent technical assistance and Terje Samuelsen for giving me the idea to do this study.

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Rahko, T., Kalima, T.V. & Saloniemi, H. Serum Fructosamine Levels in Dairy Cows Related to Metabolic Status in Early Lactation. Acta Vet Scand 28, 291–298 (1987).

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  • free fatty acids
  • cholesterol
  • glucose
  • acetoacetate
  • energy balance