Alveolar clearance in horses with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Dominique M. Votion From the Laboratory for Functional Investigation, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Votion, Vandenput, Duvivier, van Erck, Art, Lekeux) and the Department of Quantitative Methodology, Faculty of Economics, Business and Social Sciences (Lambert), University of Liege, Belgium.

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Sandrina N. Vandenput From the Laboratory for Functional Investigation, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Votion, Vandenput, Duvivier, van Erck, Art, Lekeux) and the Department of Quantitative Methodology, Faculty of Economics, Business and Social Sciences (Lambert), University of Liege, Belgium.

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Dominique H. Duvivier From the Laboratory for Functional Investigation, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Votion, Vandenput, Duvivier, van Erck, Art, Lekeux) and the Department of Quantitative Methodology, Faculty of Economics, Business and Social Sciences (Lambert), University of Liege, Belgium.

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Philippe Lambert From the Laboratory for Functional Investigation, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Votion, Vandenput, Duvivier, van Erck, Art, Lekeux) and the Department of Quantitative Methodology, Faculty of Economics, Business and Social Sciences (Lambert), University of Liege, Belgium.

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Emmanuelle van Erck From the Laboratory for Functional Investigation, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Votion, Vandenput, Duvivier, van Erck, Art, Lekeux) and the Department of Quantitative Methodology, Faculty of Economics, Business and Social Sciences (Lambert), University of Liege, Belgium.

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Tatiana Art From the Laboratory for Functional Investigation, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Votion, Vandenput, Duvivier, van Erck, Art, Lekeux) and the Department of Quantitative Methodology, Faculty of Economics, Business and Social Sciences (Lambert), University of Liege, Belgium.

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Pierre M. Lekeux From the Laboratory for Functional Investigation, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Votion, Vandenput, Duvivier, van Erck, Art, Lekeux) and the Department of Quantitative Methodology, Faculty of Economics, Business and Social Sciences (Lambert), University of Liege, Belgium.

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Abstract

Objective

To assess sensitivity of scintigraphic alveolar clearance rate as an indicator of alveolar epithelium damage in horses.

Animals

5 healthy horses (group A) and 5 with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; group B).

Procedure

Horses underwent clearance rate (k [%/min]) determination. Clearance rate of group-B horses was determined after remission of the disease following 2 months at pasture (remission 1), stabling in a controlled environment (remission 2), and during crisis induced by exposure to moldy hay and straw. Methacholine challenge test was performed at each investigation period to determine nonspecific pulmonary airway hyperresponsiveness. Pulmonary function tests (PFT) also were performed, and cell populations in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were determined on another occasion.

Results

Group-B horses had significantly faster mean clearance rate during crisis (k = 4.30 ± 0.95%/min), compared with that for remission 1 (k = 1.98 ± 0.55%/min), which did not differ from the rate in group-A horses (k = 1.95 ± 0.33%/min). Despite lack of clinical signs of COPD during remission when stabled in a controlled environment, an intermediate value was found (k = 3.20 ± 0.72%/min).

Conclusions

This technique allowed grading of lung damage induced by COPD, whereas use of PFT and determination of BAL fluid cell populations failed to differentiate between remission 1 and remission 2.

Clinical Relevance

Determination of alveolar clearance rate by use of scintigraphy is a sensitive indicator of lung damage. A modified clearance rate was found despite the lack of clinical and functional changes. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:495-500)

Abstract

Objective

To assess sensitivity of scintigraphic alveolar clearance rate as an indicator of alveolar epithelium damage in horses.

Animals

5 healthy horses (group A) and 5 with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; group B).

Procedure

Horses underwent clearance rate (k [%/min]) determination. Clearance rate of group-B horses was determined after remission of the disease following 2 months at pasture (remission 1), stabling in a controlled environment (remission 2), and during crisis induced by exposure to moldy hay and straw. Methacholine challenge test was performed at each investigation period to determine nonspecific pulmonary airway hyperresponsiveness. Pulmonary function tests (PFT) also were performed, and cell populations in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were determined on another occasion.

Results

Group-B horses had significantly faster mean clearance rate during crisis (k = 4.30 ± 0.95%/min), compared with that for remission 1 (k = 1.98 ± 0.55%/min), which did not differ from the rate in group-A horses (k = 1.95 ± 0.33%/min). Despite lack of clinical signs of COPD during remission when stabled in a controlled environment, an intermediate value was found (k = 3.20 ± 0.72%/min).

Conclusions

This technique allowed grading of lung damage induced by COPD, whereas use of PFT and determination of BAL fluid cell populations failed to differentiate between remission 1 and remission 2.

Clinical Relevance

Determination of alveolar clearance rate by use of scintigraphy is a sensitive indicator of lung damage. A modified clearance rate was found despite the lack of clinical and functional changes. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:495-500)

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