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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • autologous blood;
  • pulmonary function;
  • tracheal wash;
  • cytology

Summary

This study aimed at measuring the functional consequences and the pulmonary cytology changes following a simulation of pulmonary haemorrhage. Pulmonary function tests including lobeline-induced hyperventilation, cytology of tracheo-bronchial wash (TBW) and thoracic radiographs were performed before, as well as 1, 7, 14 and 28 days after, the instillation of 300 ml of blood into the lungs of 4 horses deemed free of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (Group 1). Control data (Group 2) were obtained by instilling the same volume of saline into the lungs of the same horses in a crossover design (control). The instillation of blood or saline resulted in an increase in the number of neutrophils in the TBW. Thoracic radiographs showed increased opacity in the caudodorsal region of the lungs in 4/4 (Day 1) and 2/4 horses (Day 7), in Group 1, and in 2/4 (Day 1) and 0/4 horses (Day 7) in the control group. These changes were attributed to the instillation procedure rather than the nature of the instilled material. Breathing mechanics and arterial blood gases at rest were not affected in either Groups 1 or 2. However, the maximal expiratory peak flow recorded during lobeline-induced hyperventilation was significantly lower (P<0.05) and the total pulmonary resistance significantly higher (P<0.05) on Day 1 in Group 1, but not Group 2. These observations suggest that expiratory flows might be partly limited in bleeders when breathing at high airflow.