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  • Author or Editor: Reto Straub x
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Objective—To investigate whether volumetric capnography indices could be used to differentiate between horses without recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) and horses with RAO that were in clinical remission or that had clinically apparent RAO.

Animals—70 adult Swiss Warmblood horses (20 used for pleasure riding and 50 used for dressage or show jumping).

Procedure—Horses were allocated to 4 groups on the basis of history, clinical signs, results of endoscopy, and cytologic findings (group 1, 21 healthy horses; group 2, 22 horses with RAO that were in remission; group 3, 16 horses with mild RAO; group 4, 11 horses with exacerbated RAO). Expiratory volume and CO2 curves were recorded by use of a computerized ultrasonic spirometer. Volumetric capnograms were plotted, and derived indices were calculated.

Results—Dead-space volume (VD) was calculated by use of the Bohr equation (VDBohr) and for physiologic VD (VDphys). Ratios for VDBohr to expiratory tidal volume (VT) and VDphys to VT as well as an index of effective CO2 elimination were significantly different among groups of horses. Age and use of the horses also significantly affected volumetric capnography indices.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ratios of VDBohr to VT and VDphys to VT as well as an index of effective CO2 elimination were sufficiently sensitive measures to distinguish between healthy horses and horses with RAO in remission. To optimize the ability of volumetric capnography indices to differentiate among horses in heterogeneous populations, it is important to account for effects of age and specific use of the horses. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:338–345)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—A 7-year-old 573-kg (1,261 -lb) Swiss Warmblood gelding was evaluated because of signs of acute abdominal pain.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed a markedly distended abdomen with subjectively reduced borborygmi in all abdominal quadrants. A large, gas-distended viscus was present at the pelvic brim preventing complete palpation of the abdomen per rectum. Ultrasonographic evaluation could not be safely performed in the initial evaluation because of severe signs of abdominal pain.

Treatment and Outcome—Ventral midline celiotomy was performed, and right dorsal displacement of the ascending colon was corrected. Progressive signs of abdominal pain after surgery prompted repeat ventral midline celiotomy, and small intestinal incarceration in a large, radial mesojejunal rent was detected. The incarceration was reduced, but the defect was not fully accessible for repair via the celiotomy. Repair of the mesenteric defect was not attempted, and conservative management was planned after surgery; however, signs of colic returned. A standard laparoscopic approach was attempted from both flanks in the standing patient, but the small intestine could not be adequately mobilized for full evaluation of the rent. Hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery (HALS) allowed identification and reduction of jejunal incarceration and repair of the mesenteric rent. Although minor ventral midline incisional complications were encountered, the horse recovered fully.

Clinical Relevance—HALS techniques should be considered for repair of mesenteric rents in horses. In the horse of this report, HALS facilitated identification, evaluation, and repair of a large radial mesenteric rent that was not accessible from a ventral median celiotomy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association