Donnington Grove Veterinary Surgery, Oxford Road, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JB, UK
Dynamic obstructions of the equine upper respiratory tract. Part 2: Comparison of endoscopic findings at rest and during high-speed treadmill exercise of 600 Thoroughbred racehorses
Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
2006 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 38, Issue 5, pages 401–408, September 2006
How to Cite
LANE, J. G., BLADON, B., LITTLE, D. R. M., NAYLOR, J. R. J. and FRANKLIN, S. H. (2006), Dynamic obstructions of the equine upper respiratory tract. Part 2: Comparison of endoscopic findings at rest and during high-speed treadmill exercise of 600 Thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Veterinary Journal, 38: 401–408. doi: 10.2746/042516406778400619
- Issue published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Paper received for publication 18.05.05; Accepted 10.03.06
- dynamic airway obstruction;
- high-speed treadmill;
Reasons for performing study: The reliability of diagnoses of obstructive conditions of the upper respiratory tract (URT) based on examinations performed at rest vs. at exercise is controversial.
Objective: To compare diagnosis of URT by endoscopy at rest with that achieved during high-speed treadmill exercise (HSTE).
Hypothesis: Endoscopy of URT at rest, when performed in isolation from other simpler techniques is unreliable in the prediction of dynamic respiratory obstructions.
Methods: Endoscopic findings of 600 Thoroughbred racehorses during quiet breathing were compared with findings during high-speed treadmill exercise. Other parameters were also assessed for their specificity in diagnosis.
Results: Endoscopy of the resting horse showed low sensitivity (0.15) in the diagnosis of dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) and palatal instability (PI). When endoscopy and reported noises were taken together there was still a 35% misdiagnosis rate. Although there was significant association between resting laryngeal function score (LFS) and dynamic vocal cord and/or arytenoid cartilage collapse at exercise, 19% of horses with a grade 4/5 LFS were able to attain and maintain full abduction during exercise and 7% of those with ‘normal’grades 1 or 2 LFS at rest showed dynamic laryngeal collapse when exerted. Sensitivity of the diagnostic model was greatly increased (80%) when a history of inspiratory noise and palpable intrinsic muscle atrophy were included.
Conclusions and potential relevance: Endoscopy of the upper respiratory tract of static horses is unreliable in the diagnosis of dynamic obstructions of the URT and should not be used in isolation in surgical decision-making or in the assessment of horses at the time of sale.