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To characterize the 3-D geometry of the equine larynx replicating laryngeal hemiplegia and 4 surgical interventions by use of CT under steady-state airflow conditions. Secondly, to use fluid mechanic principles of flow through a constriction to establish the relationship between measured airflow geometries with impedance for each surgical procedure.


10 cadaveric horse larynges.


While CT scans were performed, inhalation during exercise conditions was replicated for each of the following 5 conditions: laryngeal hemiplegia, left laryngoplasty with ventriculocordectomy, left laryngoplasty with ipsilateral ventriculocordectomy and arytenoid corniculectomy, corniculectomy, and partial arytenoidectomy for each larynx while CT scans were performed. Laryngeal impedance was calculated, and selected cross-sectional areas were measured along each larynx for each test. Measured areas and constriction characteristics were analyzed with respect to impedance using a multilevel, mixed-effects model.


Incident angle, entrance coefficient, outlet coefficient, friction coefficient, orifice thickness, and surgical procedure were significantly associated with upper airway impedance in the bivariable model. The multivariate model showed a significant influence of incident angle, entrance coefficient, and surgical procedure on impedance; however, the orifice thickness became nonsignificant within the model.


Laryngeal impedance was significantly associated with the entrance configuration for each procedure. This suggested that the equine upper airway, despite having a highly complex geometry, adheres to fluid dynamic principles applying to constrictions within pipe flow. These underlying flow characteristics may explain the clinical outcomes observed in some patients, and lead to areas of improvement in the treatment of obstructive upper airway disease in horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research