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To evaluate the efficacy of prosthetic laryngoplasty with and without bilateral ventriculocordectomy for treatment of experimentally induced left laryngeal hemiplegia (LLH).


15 adult Standardbreds.


Horses were allotted to 3 equal groups. Sham operation (group 1), prosthetic laryngoplasty (group 2), or prosthetic laryngoplasty with bilateral ventriculocordectomy (group 3) was performed after induction of LLH. Upper airway function testing was performed prior to left recurrent laryngeal neurectomy (LRLN), 14 days after LRLN, and 60 and 180 days after surgical treatment. Measurements were obtained at rest and at treadmill speeds corresponding to 75 and 100% of maximal heart rate. Videoendoscopy was performed at rest and during exercise in all horses prior to LRLN and 60 and 180 days after surgical treatment. Upper airway endoscopy was performed immediately after LRLN to document induction of grade-IV LLH. Also, horses in group 3 were endoscopically examined at 7, 14, 21, 28, and 120 days after surgical treatment to evaluate healing of the ventriculocordectomy sites.


When horses were at rest, significant differences were not apparent between groups at any period or between periods for any measured variable. LRLN induced airway obstruction in all horses during exercise. In sham-operated horses, this obstruction was unaffected by time. In contrast, 60 and 180 days after surgical treatment, inspiratory flow limitations induced by LRLN were reversed in horses of groups 2 and 3. There were no significant differences between the 2 treatment groups. Endoscopy revealed the left arytenoid cartilage abducted beyond the intermediate position, but not touching the pharyngeal wall in all horses with a laryngeal prosthesis. After surgical treatment, 4 group-2 horses had filling of both ventricles with air during exercise. There was moderate to marked swelling of the ventriculocordectomy sites immediately after surgery, and this swelling resolved by 7 days after surgery. The ventriculocordectomy sites looked best at 14 and 180 days.


60 and 180 days after prosthetic laryngoplasty, upper airway function returned to pre-LRLN values in horses with experimentally induced LLH exercising at 100% of maximal heart rate. Combining ventriculocordectomy with prosthetic laryngoplasty does not further improve upper airway function in these horses. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1668–1673)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research