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Objective—To investigate the influence of simulated contraction of the cricoarytenoideus dorsalis (CAD) muscle on the 3-D motion of the arytenoid cartilage.

Sample Population—5 larynges from equine cadavers.

Procedures—Serial computed tomographic scans of each larynx were conducted at 7 incremental forces simulating contraction of medial, lateral, and combined bellies of the left CAD muscle. Three-dimensional reconstruction of radiopaque markers placed at anatomic landmarks on the left arytenoid and cricoid cartilages enabled quantification of marker displacement according to a Cartesian coordinate system. Rotation (roll, pitch, and yaw) of dorsal and ventral arytenoid planes was calculated relative to a plane formed by the coordinates of 3 markers on the cricoid cartilage by use of Euler angles.

Results—Displacement and rotational data showed that rocking motion occurs throughout arytenoid abduction and most of the rotational component is attributable to pitch; greater pitch was associated with action of the lateral belly. Roll of the ventral arytenoid plane was principally associated with action of the medial belly, which counteracted the tendency of the arytenoid cartilage to rotate medially into the rima glottidis lumen. The distance between markers on the arytenoid cartilage was not constant during contraction because of slight deformation of the corniculate process of the arytenoid cartilage, therefore indicating that the arytenoid cartilage is not a rigid body during abduction.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Arytenoid cartilage abduction was dependent on the rocking motion elicited by the lateral belly of the CAD muscle; therefore, laryngoplasty suture placement should mimic the action of the lateral, rather than the medial, muscle belly. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1003–1010)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To develop and assess the feasibility, repeatability, and safety of an ultrasound-guided technique to stimulate the first cervical nerve (FCN) at the level of the alar foramen of the atlas of horses.

ANIMALS 4 equine cadavers and 6 clinically normal Standardbreds.

PROCEDURES In each cadaver, the FCN pathway was determined by dissection, and any anastomosis between the first and second cervical nerves was identified. Subsequently, each of 6 live horses underwent a bilateral ultrasound-guided stimulation of the FCN at the alar foramen 3 times at 3-week intervals. After each procedure, horses were examined daily for 5 days.

RESULTS In each cadaver, the FCN passed through the alar foramen; a communicating branch between the FCN and the accessory nerve and anastomoses between the ventral branches of the FCN and second cervical nerve were identified. The anastomoses were located in the upper third of the FCN pathway between the wing of the atlas and the nerve's entry in the omohyoideus muscle. Successful ultrasound-guided electrical stimulation was confirmed by twitching of the ipsilateral omohyoideus muscle in all 6 live horses; this finding was observed bilaterally during each of the 3 experimental sessions. No complications developed at the site of stimulation.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that ultrasound-guided stimulation of the FCN at the alar foramen appears to be a safe and straightforward procedure in horses. The procedure may have potential for use in horses with naturally occurring recurrent laryngeal neuropathy to assess reinnervation after FCN transplantation or nerve-muscle pedicle implantation in the cricoarytenoideus dorsalis muscle.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To identify the degree of left arytenoid cartilage (LAC) abduction that allows laryngeal airflow similar to that in galloping horses, assess 2-D and 3-D biomechanical effects of prosthetic laryngoplasty on LAC movement and airflow, and determine the influence of suture position through the muscular process of the arytenoid cartilage (MPA) on these variables.


7 equine cadaver larynges.


With the right arytenoid cartilage maximally abducted and inspiratory airflow simulated by vacuum, laryngeal airflow and translaryngeal pressure and impedance were measured at 12 incremental LAC abduction forces (0% to 100% [maximum abduction]) applied through laryngoplasty sutures passed caudocranially or mediolaterally through the left MPA. Cross-sectional area of the rima glottis and left-to-right angle quotient were determined from photographs at each abduction force; CT images were obtained at alternate forces. Arytenoid and cricoid cartilage markers allowed calculation of LAC roll, pitch, and yaw through use of Euler angles on 3-D reconstructed CT images.


Translaryngeal pressure and impedance decreased, and airflow increased rapidly at low abduction forces, then slowed until a plateau was reached at approximately 50% of maximum abduction force. The greatest LAC motion was rocking (pitch). Suture position through the left MPA did not significantly affect airflow data. Approximately 50% of maximum abduction force, corresponding to a left arytenoid angle of approximately 30° and left-to-right angle quotient of 0.79 to 0.84, allowed airflow of approximately 61 ± 6.5 L/s.


Ex vivo modeling results suggested little benefit to LAC abduction forces > 50%, which allowed airflow similar to that reported elsewhere for galloping horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research