Objective—To characterize the associations between clinical signs of nasopharyngeal cicatrix syndrome (NCS) and endoscopic findings in horses.
Design—Retrospective, case-control study.
Animals—239 horses (118 case horses and 121 control horses).
Procedures—Medical records of horses that had an endoscopic evaluation of the upper airway performed between January 2003 and December 2008 were reviewed. Clinical signs and the appearance and anatomic locations of lesions identified during endoscopic evaluation were reviewed and recorded for each horse. The associations between clinical signs and endoscopic findings were evaluated by the use of a prospective logistic model that used a Bayesian method for inference and was implemented by a Markov chain Monte Carlo method.
Results—Nasal discharge was associated with acute inflammation of the pharynx and larynx. Exercise intolerance was associated with circumferential pharyngeal lesions. Respiratory noise was associated with chronic scarring of the pharynx, a combination of pharyngeal and laryngeal scarring, and circumferential scarring of the pharynx. Respiratory distress was associated with acute inflammation of all portions of the airway, especially when there was preexisting scarring and narrowing of the airway by ≥ 50%. Cough did not have any significant association with NCS, compared with results in control horses.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Associations between the endoscopic appearance of NCS lesions and relevant clinical signs will help practitioners identify horses with NCS and allow them to select appropriate treatment.
The authors thank Dr. Peter Rakestraw for technical assistance with the design of this study and Kim Hensarling for assistance with the medical records.