Objective: To (1) assess upper airway function by videoendoscopy in horses performing poorly after laryngoplasty and (2) establish whether dynamic collapse of the left arytenoid can be predicted by the degree of resting postsurgical abduction.
Study Design: Case series.
Animals: Horses that had left laryngoplasty (n=45).
Methods: Medical records (June 1993–December 2007) of horses evaluated for abnormal respiratory noise and/or poor performance after laryngoplasty were reviewed. Horses with video recordings of resting and exercising upper airway endoscopy were included and postsurgical abduction categorized. Horses with immediate postoperative endoscopy recordings were also evaluated and postsurgical abduction categorized. Relationships between resting postsurgical abduction and historical information with exercising endoscopic findings were examined.
Results: Dynamic collapse of the left arytenoid cartilage was probable in horses with no postsurgical abduction and could not be predicted in horses with grade 3 or 4 postsurgical abduction. Respiratory noise was associated with upper airway obstruction but was not specific for arytenoid collapse. Most horses with a left vocal fold had billowing of the fold during exercise. Other forms of dynamic collapse involved the right vocal fold, aryepiglottic folds, corniculate process of left arytenoid cartilage, dorsal displacement of soft palate, and pharyngeal collapse. Complex obstructions were observed in most examinations and in all horses with exercising collapse of the left arytenoid cartilage.
Conclusions: There was no relationship between exercising collapse of the left arytenoid cartilage and grade 3 or 4 postsurgical abduction but was likely in horses with no abduction.