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Transendoscopic, laser-assisted ventriculocordectomy for treatment of left laryngeal hemiplegia in horses: 22 cases (1999–2005)

Cortney E. Henderson DVM, MS1, Kenneth E. Sullins DVM, MS, DACVS2, and Jennifer A. Brown DVM, DACVS3
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  • 1 Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Leesburg, VA 20177.
  • | 2 Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Leesburg, VA 20177.
  • | 3 Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Leesburg, VA 20177.

Abstract

Objective—To determine long-term effects of transendoscopic, laser-assisted ventriculocordectomy (LAVC) on airway noise and performance in horses with naturally occurring left laryngeal hemiplegia.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—22 horses with left laryngeal hemiplegia treated by means of LAVC.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed and initial complaint, intended use of the horse, duration of abnormal airway noise, preoperative performance level, endoscopic findings, surgical procedure, postoperative treatment, and complications were recorded. Follow-up telephone interviews with owners and trainers were conducted to determine time for return to intended use, level of postoperative performance, and percentage reduction in airway noise.

Results—All horses were examined because of excessive airway noise; 10 (45%) had concurrent exercise intolerance. Left ventriculocordectomy was performed in all 22 horses; bilateral ventriculocordectomy (right ventriculocordectomy was done 1 year later) was performed in 1 horse (5%). Complications occurred in 3 (14%) horses. Twenty (91%) horses returned to their intended use. Excessive airway noise was eliminated after surgery in 18 (82%) horses; exercise intolerance improved postoperatively in 8 of 10 horses. Three racing Thoroughbreds returned to racing; 1 additional racehorse returned to racing but required a laryngoplasty 1 year later to continue racing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that LAVC was an effective procedure for elimination of excessive airway noise and improvement of performance in horses with left laryngeal hemiplegia.

Abstract

Objective—To determine long-term effects of transendoscopic, laser-assisted ventriculocordectomy (LAVC) on airway noise and performance in horses with naturally occurring left laryngeal hemiplegia.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—22 horses with left laryngeal hemiplegia treated by means of LAVC.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed and initial complaint, intended use of the horse, duration of abnormal airway noise, preoperative performance level, endoscopic findings, surgical procedure, postoperative treatment, and complications were recorded. Follow-up telephone interviews with owners and trainers were conducted to determine time for return to intended use, level of postoperative performance, and percentage reduction in airway noise.

Results—All horses were examined because of excessive airway noise; 10 (45%) had concurrent exercise intolerance. Left ventriculocordectomy was performed in all 22 horses; bilateral ventriculocordectomy (right ventriculocordectomy was done 1 year later) was performed in 1 horse (5%). Complications occurred in 3 (14%) horses. Twenty (91%) horses returned to their intended use. Excessive airway noise was eliminated after surgery in 18 (82%) horses; exercise intolerance improved postoperatively in 8 of 10 horses. Three racing Thoroughbreds returned to racing; 1 additional racehorse returned to racing but required a laryngoplasty 1 year later to continue racing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that LAVC was an effective procedure for elimination of excessive airway noise and improvement of performance in horses with left laryngeal hemiplegia.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Henderson's present address is Harris Equine Hospital Inc, 1030 Roland Rd, Whitesboro, TX 76273.

Address correspondence to Dr. Henderson.