Association between bronchoalveolar lavage cytologic features and airway reactivity in horses with a history of exercise intolerance

A. M. Hoffman From the Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Rd, N. Grafton, MA 01536.

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M. R. Mazan From the Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Rd, N. Grafton, MA 01536.

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S. Ellenberg From the Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Rd, N. Grafton, MA 01536.

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SUMMARY

Objective

To correlate indices of airway reactivity to bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid cytologic features in horses with a recent decline in exercise tolerance.

Animals

20 actively working horses from 2 to 24 years old.

Procedure

Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples were obtained and analyzed. Forced oscillatory mechanics (1-7 Hz) technique was used for measurements of total respiratory system resistance (RRS), compliance (CRS), and resonant frequency (fres). Changes in RRS (1 Hz) during histamine challenge were used to generate histamine dose-response curves, from which the provocative concentrations that evoked a 75 or 100% increase in baseline RRS (PCRRS75 and PCRRS100, respectively) were determined. Age, sex, baseline lung mechanics, and BAL cytologic findings were correlated with PCRRS75 and PCRRS100.

Results

No horse of the study had clinical signs or history of obstructive pulmonary disease or increased percentage (> 7%) of neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples. Mean (± SEM) RRS, CRS, and fres were 0.67 ± 0.06 cm of H2O/L/s, 0.52 ± 0.04 L/cm H2O, and 2.46 ± 0.02 Hz, respectively. There was no correlation between age or sex, and RRS, CRS, fres, PCRRS75, or PCRRS100. There was a significant correlation (rs = −0.78, P < 0.001) between percentage of BAL fluid mast cells and PCRRS75 or PCRRS100, but correlation with other cell types and indices of airway reactivity were not observed.

Conclusion

The strong association between mast cell percentage in BAL fluid and airway reactivity in this group suggests that mast cell products may contribute to bronchospasm, airway wall thickening, and/or loss of elastic recoil, which underlie airway hyperreactivity. Alternatively, mast cells may contribute to nonspecific airway reactivity in horses through unknown mechanisms. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:176–181)

SUMMARY

Objective

To correlate indices of airway reactivity to bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid cytologic features in horses with a recent decline in exercise tolerance.

Animals

20 actively working horses from 2 to 24 years old.

Procedure

Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples were obtained and analyzed. Forced oscillatory mechanics (1-7 Hz) technique was used for measurements of total respiratory system resistance (RRS), compliance (CRS), and resonant frequency (fres). Changes in RRS (1 Hz) during histamine challenge were used to generate histamine dose-response curves, from which the provocative concentrations that evoked a 75 or 100% increase in baseline RRS (PCRRS75 and PCRRS100, respectively) were determined. Age, sex, baseline lung mechanics, and BAL cytologic findings were correlated with PCRRS75 and PCRRS100.

Results

No horse of the study had clinical signs or history of obstructive pulmonary disease or increased percentage (> 7%) of neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples. Mean (± SEM) RRS, CRS, and fres were 0.67 ± 0.06 cm of H2O/L/s, 0.52 ± 0.04 L/cm H2O, and 2.46 ± 0.02 Hz, respectively. There was no correlation between age or sex, and RRS, CRS, fres, PCRRS75, or PCRRS100. There was a significant correlation (rs = −0.78, P < 0.001) between percentage of BAL fluid mast cells and PCRRS75 or PCRRS100, but correlation with other cell types and indices of airway reactivity were not observed.

Conclusion

The strong association between mast cell percentage in BAL fluid and airway reactivity in this group suggests that mast cell products may contribute to bronchospasm, airway wall thickening, and/or loss of elastic recoil, which underlie airway hyperreactivity. Alternatively, mast cells may contribute to nonspecific airway reactivity in horses through unknown mechanisms. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:176–181)

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