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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • pulmonary circulation;
  • diuretic;
  • pulmonary haemodynamics

Summary

The objective of the present study was to ascertain whether administration of a second dose of frusemide would attenuate exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension more than a single dose. Right atrial, right ventricular and pulmonary vascular pressures were determined in 7 healthy, sound, exercise-trained Thoroughbred horses at rest and during exercise (14.2 m/s + a 3.5% uphill grade) performed at maximal heart rate (217 ± 3 beats/min [mean ± s.e.]). Horses were studied during the following 3 treatments in random order 7 days apart: control (no medication), frusemide single dose (250 mg i.v. 4 h pre-exercise), and frusemide double dose (250 mg i.v., 4 h pre-exercise + 250 mg i.v. 2 h pre-exercise). In the control study, exercise resulted in significant (P<.05) right atrial as well as pulmonary arterial, capillary and venous hypertension. In the frusemide single dose experiments, a significant (P<.05) attenuation of the exercise-induced rise in right atrial and pulmonary vascular pressures was observed. However, compared with frusemide single dose experiments, significant changes in the exercise-induced right atrial and pulmonary arterial, capillary and venous hypertension were not observed in the frusemide double dose experiments. Therefore, it is concluded that administration of an additional dose of frusemide is unlikely to affect the severity of EIPH in racing Thoroughbred horses more than a single dose.