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Abstract

Objective

To determine the effect of bilateral blockade of the pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve on soft palate function in horses.

Animals

5 Standardbreds.

Procedure

Peak tracheal inspiratory and expiratory pressures and airflow were measured while horses exercised at the speeds corresponding to 75 and 100% of the speed that resulted in maximal heart rate, with and without pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve blockade. Respiratory frequency-to-stride frequency coupling ratio was measured by correlating foot fall measurements with respiratory frequency. The pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve was blocked bilaterally as the nerve coursed through the auditory tube diverticulum (guttural pouch) across the longus capitus muscle.

Results

Persistent, reversible dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) occurred in all horses after nerve blockade, and lasted from 1 to 3 hours; normal nasopharyngeal function returned within 3 hours. Compared with control values, peak expiratory tracheal pressure increased (P = 0.001), expiratory impedance increased (P = 0.007), and minute ventilation decreased (P = 0.04). Respiratory frequency-to-stride frequency coupling ratio decreased (P = 0.009) so that horses took 1 breath/stride without the nerve block and, approximately, 1 breath/2 strides with the block.

Conclusion

DDSP creates flow-limiting expiratory obstruction and may be caused by neuromuscular dysfunction involving the pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve. It may alter performance by causing expiratory obstruction and by altering breathing strategy in horses.

Clinical Relevance

A repeatable, reversible model of DDSP exists that allows further study of the disease. Dysfunction of the neuromuscular group, pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve and palatinus and palatopharyngeus muscles, may be implicated in the pathogenesis of clinical DDSP. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:504–508)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Flow-volume loops generated from 6 Standardbreds at rest and during treadmill exercise were evaluated for their use in detecting upper airway obstruction. Tidal breathing flow-volume loops (tbfvl) were obtained from horses at rest and exercising at speeds corresponding to 75% of maximal heart rate and at maximal heart rate. The tbfvl were evaluated, using a pulmonary function computer; calculated indices describing airflow rate and expiratory-to-inspiratory airflow ratio for individual loops were determined. In addition to tbfvl indices, standard variables of upper airway function also were measured: peak airflow, peak pressure, and calculated inspiratory and expiratory impedances. Measurements were recorded before left recurrent laryngeal neurectomy (lrln; baseline) and 14 days after surgically induced left laryngeal hemiplegia.

When horses were at rest, tbfvl shape and indices describing the loop were highly variable. In contrast, in exercising horses, tbfvl shape was consistent and coefficients of variation of loop indices were less during exercise than at rest. After lrln, tbfvl from exercising horses indicated marked inspiratory airflow limitation, while the expiratory airflow curve was preserved. Peak inspiratory flow rate and inspiratory flow at 50 and 25% of tidal volume decreased, and the ratio of peak expiratory to inspiratory airflow and that of midtidal volume expiratory and inspiratory airflow rates increased significantly (P < 0.05). Inspiratory impedance also increased after lrln.

Although in resting horses tbfvl were not a useful indicator of upper airway obstruction, examination of tbfvl from exercising horses allowed objective, specific, and repeatable detection of upper airway obstruction. The technique was noninvasive, rapid, and well tolerated by horses; thus, it is a potentially valuable clinical diagnostic test.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

The lungs of sensitized horses were exposed to aerosolized ovalbumin. Some horses (n = 4) were given ovalbumin in 1 lung only, whereas in others (n = 7), ovalbumin or vehicle were inoculated in the cranial, ventral, and caudal regions of the caudal lung lobe. Horses were exercised 5 hours after ovalbumin exposure. Immediately before exercise, endoscopy failed to reveal any abnormality. After exercise, endoscopic examination of horses subjected to unilateral ovalbumin exposure revealed extensive blood in airways leading to the exposed lung in all horses. Blood was not observed in the airways leading to the control lung. Mean (± sem) minimum volume of the exposed and control lungs was 9.5 ± 1.5 and 5.5 ± 1.6 L, respectively; this difference was statistically significant (P< 0.05). Bronchoscopy of horses subjected to regional ovalbumin or vehicle exposure and exercise revealed a small amount of blood-tinged fluid in the bronchi serving the regions of the lung inoculated with ovalbumin. Minimum volumes of such regions were not significantly different from one another. However, their minimum volume was significantly (P<0.05) larger than that of vehicle-inoculated regions. Gross and histologic examination confirmed inflammation and hemorrhage in the ovalbumin-exposed, but not the control lungs or lung regions. Thus, exercise can cause blood from an injured region of lung to appear in the larger airways. Regional differences in lung structure and function do not influence the appearance of blood in the airways.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Pulmonary function measurements were made in control ponies and in ponies with recurrent obstructive pulmonary disease (principals) during clinical remission and during an attack of acute airway obstruction. The ponies were given β-adrenergic antagonists and agonists to determine the role of β receptors in recurrent obstructive pulmonary disease, and to determine the subtypes of β receptors mediating bronchodilation in ponies. Aerosol administration of the β antagonists, propranolol (β1 and β2), atenolol (β1), and butoxamine (β2) decreased dynamic compliance (Cdyn) and increased pulmonary resistance (RL) in the principal ponies during airway obstruction, but were without effect when the ponies were in clinical remission. Intravenous administration of atropine reversed the effect of atenolol on Cdyn and RL, but was without effect on the decrease in Cdyn and increase in RL observed after butoxamine administration. The β antagonists did not affect airway function in the control ponies. The effect of β blockade on Cdyn and RL suggests β-adrenergic activation in the central and peripheral airways of principal ponies, mediated through both β2- and β1-adrenergic receptors. The aerosol β agonists, isoproterenol (β1 and β2), and clenbuterol (β2) attenuated histamine-induced airway obstruction to a similar extent in control ponies that were given histamine iv. In addition, the β1 antagonist, atenolol, did not attenuate the bronchodilation observed with isoproterenol. We concluded that, although β1- and β2-adrenergic receptors exist in pony airways and are activated during acute airway obstruction, bronchodilation in response to β agonists in ponies seems to be mediated primarily by β2-adrenergic receptors.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Respiratory syncytial virus (rsv) infection causes severe lower respiratory tract disease in infants and calves. Neonatal respiratory tract infection in children often produces persistent changes in lung function. The specific objective of this study was to determine whether neonatal calves have transient or persistent alterations in pulmonary function and airway reactivity following rsv infection. Six 2- to 3-day-old Holstein bull calves were inoculated with 10 ml of bovine respiratory syncytial virus (brsv) inoculum (102.7 to 103.8 cell culture infective doses/ml) intranasally and 10 ml of brsv inoculum (104.8 to 105.9 cell culture infective doses/ml) intratracheally for 4 consecutive days, and 5 other calves were sham-inoculated. Prior to inoculation (day 0) and on days 4, 14, and 30 after the last inoculation, body weight (kg), dynamic compliance (Cdyn), pulmonary resistance (RL), and 2 indices of airway reactivity (effective dose [ed] 65Cdyn and ed 200RL) were measured. Control calves gained weight progressively throughout the study, whereas rsv-inoculated calves failed to gain weight for 14 days, but equaled control calf weight by 30 days after inoculation. The Cdyn of control calves increased significantly by 30 days, but did not in the rsv-infected calves. Pulmonary resistance was increased significantly at 4, 14, and 30 days, but was unaffected by sham inoculation. The ed 65Cdyn and ed 200RL indicated an age-dependent increase in reactivity to histamine and an increase in responsiveness in the infected group beginning at 14 days and persisting until the end of the study. The data indicate that brsv causes airway obstruction and hyperreactivity in neonatal calves, which persists for at least 30 days following viral exposure.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research