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Keywords:

  • clearance;
  • neonatal foal;
  • thoracic radiography

We characterized the kinetics of postnatal equine lung using sequential thoracic radiography. The aim was to establish the earliest time when normal foals have clear, radiolucent lung fields, and to characterize the pattern of this clearance. Both right-to-left and left-to-right thoracic radiographs were acquired in lateral recumbency at peak inspiration within the first 30 min after birth and thereafter at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h. Radiographs were interpreted by three observers. The overall assessment of radiographic lung clearance was followed by the evaluation of individual lung quadrants to document changes in pulmonary radiographic patterns over time. We concluded that thoracic images in a healthy foal older than 4 h should be characterized by clear lungfields and that after this time distinctions between physiologic and pathologic conditions can be made. The ventral lung cleared first, presumably due to the greater flexibility of the thoracic wall in this anatomic region.