• horse;
  • histology;
  • upper respiratory;
  • sinus


Biopsies collected from 79 referred cases of equine sinonasal disease, including 27 horses with primary sinusitis, 10 with secondary dental sinusitis, 19 with sinus cysts, 11 with progressive ethmoid haematomata (PEH), 4 with false nostril epidermal inclusion cysts, 4 with sinonasal polyps, 3 with sinonasal mycosis and from 2 control animals were examined histologically. Observations were made on epithelial type and integrity, cellular inflammatory response, fibroplasia and presence of potential pathogens. Chronic inflammatory changes including mucosal thickening, ulceration and significant fibroplasia, were found in the sinus mucosa with most sinus disorders, similar to those found in human chronic sinusitis. Bacteria were variably present on sinusitis mucosae but their aetiological significance was unclear. The presence of apparently irreversible changes including fibroplasia in some of these sinusitis cases may explain their poor or delayed response to treatment. Sinus cysts had histological similarities to human mucocoeles. Progressive ethmoid haematomata showed recent and older haemorrhage, as did sinus cysts (and occasionally some chronic sinusitis sections), but support for a common aetiology between sinus cysts and PEH was absent.