Histologic evaluation of nerve muscle pedicle graft used as a treatment for left laryngeal hemiplegia in Standardbreds

Ian C. Fulton From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Fulton, Derksen, Stick, Robinson) and Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Duncan).

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Frederik J. Derksen From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Fulton, Derksen, Stick, Robinson) and Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Duncan).

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John A. Stick From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Fulton, Derksen, Stick, Robinson) and Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Duncan).

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N. Edward Robinson From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Fulton, Derksen, Stick, Robinson) and Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Duncan).

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Ian D. Duncan From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Fulton, Derksen, Stick, Robinson) and Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Duncan).

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Summary

A nerve muscle pedicle (nmp) graft was placed in the cricoarytenoideus dorsalis (cad) muscle of 6 horses with induced left laryngeal hemiplegia. The nmp graft was created by use of the first cervical nerve and omohyoideus muscle. In 1 horse (control), the first cervical nerve was transected after placement of the nmp graft. One year after the surgical procedure, horses were examined endoscopically and then anesthetized. While the larynx was observed endoscopically, the first cervical nerve was stimulated. Horses were subsequently euthanatized, and the larynx was harvested.

Prior to anesthesia, the endoscopic appearance of the larynx of all horses was typical of laryngeal hemiplegia. During anesthesia, stimulation of the first cervical nerve produced vigorous abduction of the left aiytenoid in principal horses but not in the control horse. The right cricoarytenoideus lateralis and cad muscles were grossly and histologically normal. Also, the left cricoarytenoideus lateralis was atrophic in all horses as was the left cad muscle of the control horse. In contrast, the left cad muscle harvested from principal horses had evidence of reinnervation with type 1 or type 2 fiber grouping. One year after the nmp graft procedure, horses with left laryngeal hemiplegia had reinnervation of the left cad muscle. In another study, reinnervation was sufficient to allow normal laryngeal function during exercise. Combined, these data suggest that the nmp graft procedure is a viable technique for the treatment of left laryngeal hemiplegia in horses.

Summary

A nerve muscle pedicle (nmp) graft was placed in the cricoarytenoideus dorsalis (cad) muscle of 6 horses with induced left laryngeal hemiplegia. The nmp graft was created by use of the first cervical nerve and omohyoideus muscle. In 1 horse (control), the first cervical nerve was transected after placement of the nmp graft. One year after the surgical procedure, horses were examined endoscopically and then anesthetized. While the larynx was observed endoscopically, the first cervical nerve was stimulated. Horses were subsequently euthanatized, and the larynx was harvested.

Prior to anesthesia, the endoscopic appearance of the larynx of all horses was typical of laryngeal hemiplegia. During anesthesia, stimulation of the first cervical nerve produced vigorous abduction of the left aiytenoid in principal horses but not in the control horse. The right cricoarytenoideus lateralis and cad muscles were grossly and histologically normal. Also, the left cricoarytenoideus lateralis was atrophic in all horses as was the left cad muscle of the control horse. In contrast, the left cad muscle harvested from principal horses had evidence of reinnervation with type 1 or type 2 fiber grouping. One year after the nmp graft procedure, horses with left laryngeal hemiplegia had reinnervation of the left cad muscle. In another study, reinnervation was sufficient to allow normal laryngeal function during exercise. Combined, these data suggest that the nmp graft procedure is a viable technique for the treatment of left laryngeal hemiplegia in horses.

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