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Effects of aerosolized albuterol on physiologic responses to exercise in Standardbreds

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To examine the effects of an aerosolized β2-adrenoreceptor agonist, albuterol, on performance during a standardized incremental exercise test in clinically normal horses.

Animals—8 Standardbred pacing mares.

Procedure—Clinically normal horses, as judged by use of physical examination, hematologic findings, serum biochemical analysis, and airway endoscopy, were randomly assigned to 2 groups and were given 900 µg of albuterol via a metered-dose inhaler 30 minutes before beginning a standardized incremental exercise test in a crossover design with a 7-day minimum washout. Further examination included measurement of baseline lung mechanics, response to histamine bronchoprovocation, and bronchoalveolar lavage.

Results—No significant differences (albuterol vs placebo) were seen for any incremental exercise test variables (ie, maximum oxygen consumption, maximum carbon dioxide consumption, respiratory quotient, treadmill speed at heart rate of 200 beats/min, or number of steps completed during an incremental exercise protocol). Mast cell percentage was significantly (r = –0.84) associated with the concentration of aerosolized histamine that evoked a 100% increase in total respiratory system resistance. No other direct correlations between bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cell types and any indices of exercise capacity or airway reactivity were found.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although no horse had exercise intolerance, 4 horses had airway hyperreactivity with bronchoalveolar lavage fluid mastocytosis; these horses may have been subclinically affected with inflammatory airway disease. In our study, albuterol did not enhance performance in 8 clinically normal racing-fit Standardbreds. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1812–1817)

Abstract

Objective—To examine the effects of an aerosolized β2-adrenoreceptor agonist, albuterol, on performance during a standardized incremental exercise test in clinically normal horses.

Animals—8 Standardbred pacing mares.

Procedure—Clinically normal horses, as judged by use of physical examination, hematologic findings, serum biochemical analysis, and airway endoscopy, were randomly assigned to 2 groups and were given 900 µg of albuterol via a metered-dose inhaler 30 minutes before beginning a standardized incremental exercise test in a crossover design with a 7-day minimum washout. Further examination included measurement of baseline lung mechanics, response to histamine bronchoprovocation, and bronchoalveolar lavage.

Results—No significant differences (albuterol vs placebo) were seen for any incremental exercise test variables (ie, maximum oxygen consumption, maximum carbon dioxide consumption, respiratory quotient, treadmill speed at heart rate of 200 beats/min, or number of steps completed during an incremental exercise protocol). Mast cell percentage was significantly (r = –0.84) associated with the concentration of aerosolized histamine that evoked a 100% increase in total respiratory system resistance. No other direct correlations between bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cell types and any indices of exercise capacity or airway reactivity were found.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although no horse had exercise intolerance, 4 horses had airway hyperreactivity with bronchoalveolar lavage fluid mastocytosis; these horses may have been subclinically affected with inflammatory airway disease. In our study, albuterol did not enhance performance in 8 clinically normal racing-fit Standardbreds. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1812–1817)