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- Author or Editor: Cathy Berney x
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Objective—To determine whether the hyoepiglotticus muscle has respiratory-related electromyographic activity and whether electrical stimulation of this muscle changes the position and conformation of the epiglottis, thereby altering dimensions of the aditus laryngis.
Animals—6 Standardbred horses.
Procedure—Horses were anesthetized, and a bipolar fine-wire electrode was placed in the hyoepiglotticus muscle of each horse. Endoscopic images of the nasopharynx and larynx were recorded during electrical stimulation of the hyoepiglotticus muscle in standing, unsedated horses. Dorsoventral length and area of the aditus laryngis were measured on images obtained before and during electrical stimulation. Electromyographic activity of the hyoepiglotticus muscle and nasopharyngeal pressures were measured while horses exercised on a treadmill at 50, 75, 90, and 100% of the speed that produced maximum heart rate.
Results—Electrical stimulation of the hyoepiglotticus muscle changed the shape of the epiglottis, displaced it ventrally, and significantly increased the dorsoventral length and area of the aditus laryngis. The hyoepiglotticus muscle had inspiratory activity that increased significantly with treadmill speed as a result of an increase in phasic and tonic activity. Expiratory activity of the hyoepiglotticus muscle did not change with treadmill speed in 4 of 6 horses.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings reported here suggest that contraction of the hyoepiglotticus muscle increases dimensions of the airway in horses by depressing the epiglottis ventrally during intense breathing efforts. The hyoepiglotticus muscle may be an important muscle for dilating the airway in horses, and contraction of the hyoepiglotticus muscle may induce conformational changes in the epiglottis. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1617–1621)
Objective—To determine the effect of a commercially available nasal strip on airway mechanics in exercising horses.
Animals—6 horses (5 Standardbreds and 1 Thoroughbred).
Procedure—Horses exercised on a treadmill at speeds corresponding to 100 and 120% of maximal heart rate with and without application of a commercially available nasal strip. Concurrently, tracheal pressures, airflow, and heart rate were measured. Peak inspiratory and expiratory tracheal pressures, airflow, respiratory frequency, and tidal volume were recorded. Inspiratory and expiratory airway resistances were calculated by dividing peak pressures by peak flows. Endoscopic examination of the narrowest point of the nasal cavity (ie, nasal valve) was performed in 1 resting horse before, during, and after application of a nasal strip.
Results—During exercise on a treadmill, peak tracheal inspiratory pressure and inspiratory airway resistance were significantly less when nasal strips were applied to horses exercising at speeds corresponding to 100 and 120% of maximal heart rate. Application of the nasal strip pulled the dorsal conchal fold laterally, expanding the dorsal meatus.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The commercially available nasal strip tented the skin over the nasal valve and dilated that section of the nasal passage, resulting in decreased airway resistance during inspiration. The nasal strip probably decreases the amount of work required for respiratory muscles in horses during intense exercise and may reduce the energy required for breathing in these horses. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1101–1105)
Objective—To determine the effect of desensitization of the laryngeal mucosal mechanoreceptors on upper airway mechanics in exercising horses.
Procedure—In study 1, videoendoscopic examinations were performed while horses ran on a treadmill with and without topical anesthesia of the laryngeal mucosa. In study 2, peak tracheal and nasopharyngeal pressures and airflows were obtained from horses during incremental treadmill exercise tests, with and without topical anesthesia of the laryngeal mucosa. A nasal occlusion test was performed on each horse while standing during an endoscopic examination for both trials.
Results—In study 1, horses had nasopharyngeal collapse while running on the treadmill when the laryngeal mucosa was anesthetized. In study 2, inspiratory upper airway and nasopharyngeal impedance were significantly higher, and peak tracheal inspiratory pressure, respiratory frequency, and minute ventilation were significantly lower in horses when the laryngeal mucosa was anesthetized, compared with values obtained when horses exercised without topical anesthesia. Peak inspiratory and expiratory airflows were lower in horses when the laryngeal mucosa was anesthetized, although differences did not quite reach significance (P = 0.06 and 0.09, respectively). During a nasal occlusion test, horses had episodes of nasopharyngeal collapse and dorsal displacement of the soft palate when the laryngeal mucosa was anesthetized. Upper airway function was normal in these horses without laryngeal mucosal anesthesia.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Receptors within the laryngeal mucosa may be important in maintaining upper airway patency in exercising horses. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1706–1710)
Objective—To determine the effect of a tongue-tie on upper airway mechanics in exercising horses.
Procedure—Peak inspiratory and expiratory tracheal and pharyngeal pressures and airflow were measured while horses exercised on a treadmill with and without a tongue-tie. Respiratory rate was also measured. Horses ran at speeds that corresponded to 50 (HR50), 75, 90 (HR90), and 100% of maximal heart rate. The tongue-tie was applied by pulling the tongue forward out of the mouth as far as possible and tying it at the level of the base of the frenulum to the mandible with an elastic gauze bandage. Peak inspiratory and expiratory tracheal, pharyngeal, and translaryngeal resistance, minute ventilation, and tidal volume were calculated. Data were analyzed by use of 2-way repeated-measures ANOVA. For post hoc comparison of significant data, the Student-Newman- Keuls test was used.
Results—We were unable to detect significant differences between groups for peak inspiratory or expiratory tracheal or pharyngeal resistance, peak pressure, peak expiratory flow, tidal volume, respiratory rate, or minute ventilation. Horses that ran with a tongue-tie had significantly higher peak inspiratory flows, compared with horses that ran without a tongue-tie. In the post hoc comparison, this effect was significant at 4 m/s, HR50, and HR90.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Application of a tongue-tie did not alter upper respiratory mechanics in exercising horses and may be beneficial in exercising horses with certain types of obstructive dysfunction of the upper airways. However, application of a tongue-tie does not improve upper airway mechanics in clinically normal horses. (Am J Vet Res 2001; 62:775-778)
Objective—To investigate relationships between cough frequency and mucus accumulation, airway obstruction, and airway inflammation and to determine effects of dexamethasone on coughing and mucus score.
Animals—13 horses with recurrent airway obstruction( RAO and 6 control horses.
Procedure—6 RAO-affected and 6 control horses were stabled for 3 days. Coughing was counted for 4 hours before and on each day horses were stabled. Before and on day 3 of stabling, tracheal mucus accumulation was scored, airway obstruction was assessed via maximal change in pleural pressure (ΔPplmax), and airway inflammation was evaluated by use of cytologic examination of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Effects of dexamethasone (0.1 mg/kg, IV, q 24 h for 7 days) were determined in 12 RAO-affected horses.
Results—To assess frequency, coughing had to be counted for 1 hour. In RAO-affected horses, stabling was associated with increases in cough frequency, mucus score, and ΔPplmax. Control horses coughed transiently when first stabled. In RAO-affected horses, coughing was correlated with ΔPplmax, mucus score, and airway inflammation and was a sensitive and specific indicator of ΔPplmax > 6 cm H2O, mucus score > 1.0, and > 100 neutrophils/µL and > 20% neutrophils in BALF. Dexamethasone reduced cough frequency, mucus score, and ΔPplmax, but BALF neutrophil count remained increased.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because of its sporadic nature, coughing cannot be assessed accurately by counting during brief periods. In RAO-affected horses, coughing is an indicator of airway inflammation and obstruction. Corticosteroid treatment reduces cough frequency concurrently with reductions in ΔPplmax and mucus accumulation in RAO-affected horses. ( Am J Vet Res 2003;64:550–557)