Pulmonary function measurements during repeated environmental challenge of horses with recurrent airway obstruction (heaves)

David B. Tesarowski From the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.

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Laurent Viel From the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.

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Wayne N. McDonell From the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.

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 DVM, PhD

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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the degree of reproducibility in clinical variables, blood gas measurements, and lung function variables, and the changes in these variables caused by exposure to moldy hay in naturally sensitized and control horses.

Procedure

The magnitude of variation in arterial blood gas and pulmonary function measurements were evaluated in a model of naturally acquired heaves. Horses with heaves and similarly aged control horses were studied prior to moldy hay challenge and again after the horses with heaves manifested clinical signs of airway obstruction. This cycle of testing was repeated 3 times to determine the variation of the before and after challenge measurements. Variables evaluated for repeatability included: clinical score; arterial O2 and CO2 tensions; pulmonary function variables, such as breathing rate (f), tidal volumes, and flow rates; lung resistance (Rl); dynamic compliance; and work of breathing (Wb).

Results

Before challenge, significant differences observed between control horses and horses with heaves included clinical score, expiratory flow rate at near-end expiration, Rl, and Wb. After exposure to moldy hay, variables measured in control horses were largely unchanged. However, in the afflicted horses, significant changes were observed for clinical score, arterial O2 and CO2 tensions, breathing rate, peak tidal inspiratory and expiratory flow rates, dynamic compliance, Rl, and Wb, compared with prechallenge values and with control horses' postchallenge values. Analysis of the data revealed few statistically significant differences between repeats of challenges.

Conclusion

Horses afflicted with heaves manifest airway obstruction that can be measured in repeatable fashion. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1214-1219)

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the degree of reproducibility in clinical variables, blood gas measurements, and lung function variables, and the changes in these variables caused by exposure to moldy hay in naturally sensitized and control horses.

Procedure

The magnitude of variation in arterial blood gas and pulmonary function measurements were evaluated in a model of naturally acquired heaves. Horses with heaves and similarly aged control horses were studied prior to moldy hay challenge and again after the horses with heaves manifested clinical signs of airway obstruction. This cycle of testing was repeated 3 times to determine the variation of the before and after challenge measurements. Variables evaluated for repeatability included: clinical score; arterial O2 and CO2 tensions; pulmonary function variables, such as breathing rate (f), tidal volumes, and flow rates; lung resistance (Rl); dynamic compliance; and work of breathing (Wb).

Results

Before challenge, significant differences observed between control horses and horses with heaves included clinical score, expiratory flow rate at near-end expiration, Rl, and Wb. After exposure to moldy hay, variables measured in control horses were largely unchanged. However, in the afflicted horses, significant changes were observed for clinical score, arterial O2 and CO2 tensions, breathing rate, peak tidal inspiratory and expiratory flow rates, dynamic compliance, Rl, and Wb, compared with prechallenge values and with control horses' postchallenge values. Analysis of the data revealed few statistically significant differences between repeats of challenges.

Conclusion

Horses afflicted with heaves manifest airway obstruction that can be measured in repeatable fashion. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1214-1219)

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