Cytologic findings of tracheobronchial aspirates from 66 Thoroughbred racehorses

Corinne Raphel Sweeney From the Section of Medicine, Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Kent A. Humber From the Section of Medicine, Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Kate A. W. Roby From the Section of Medicine, Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Summary

Tracheobronchial aspirates obtained from 66 healthy Thoroughbred racehorses in training at the same track were examined. Twenty-seven percent of the horses had > 20% neutrophils in the aspirate. Eosinophils, mast cells, giant cells, and Curschmann's spirals of mucus were observed in 94, 83, 65, and 42% of the horses, respectively. Hemosiderophages were observed in 86% of the horses, half of which had previous confirmation of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. Although fungal elements were seen in 70% of the horses, bacteria were detected in only 3% of the horses. The authors conclude that inflammatory airway disease is widespread in the racing Thoroughbred population.

Summary

Tracheobronchial aspirates obtained from 66 healthy Thoroughbred racehorses in training at the same track were examined. Twenty-seven percent of the horses had > 20% neutrophils in the aspirate. Eosinophils, mast cells, giant cells, and Curschmann's spirals of mucus were observed in 94, 83, 65, and 42% of the horses, respectively. Hemosiderophages were observed in 86% of the horses, half of which had previous confirmation of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. Although fungal elements were seen in 70% of the horses, bacteria were detected in only 3% of the horses. The authors conclude that inflammatory airway disease is widespread in the racing Thoroughbred population.

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