Evaluation of high-speed treadmill videoendoscopy for diagnosis of upper respiratory tract dysfunction in horses.Aust Vet J. 2001 Feb; 79(2):109-12.AV
To evaluate high-speed treadmill videoendoscopy as a diagnostic technique and document the abnormalities found in Australian horses referred for poor performance associated with abnormal upper respiratory tract noise but where a definitive diagnosis could not be made at rest.
A retrospective clinical study using client-owned horses.
The clinical records and videorecordings of all horses referred to the University of Sydney for poor performance associated with abnormal upper respiratory tract noise during a 13-month period were examined. Only horses with a normal physical examination including absence of lameness, and where a definitive diagnosis of the cause of the abnormal upper respiratory tract noise could not be made from the resting videoendoscopic examination were included in the study. The age, gender, breed of horse and the purpose for which the horse was used were ascertained from the record and videorecordings were reviewed by the authors and any abnormalities noted.
There were 37 horses included in the study. An upper airway abnormality was identified during high-speed treadmill videoendoscopy in 73% of horses. One abnormality was identified in 22 horses, 2 abnormalities in 4 horses and 3 abnormalities in 1 horse. Abnormalities identified included laryngeal hemiparesis (n = 15), axial deviation of the aryepiglottic folds (n = 10), pharyngeal collapse (n = 3), dorsal displacement of the soft palate (n = 2), epiglottic collapse (n = 1), axial deviation of the vocal cord (n = 1) and laryngeal collapse (n = 1).
The results of this study are similar to reports from overseas and suggest high-speed treadmill videoendoscopy appears to be a useful technique to diagnose the cause of upper airway dysfunction in Australian horses referred specifically for poor performance associated with abnormal upper respiratory noise. However, a diagnosis will not be made in all horses undergoing this procedure. There were five horses with two or three abnormalities none of which were apparent at rest. This would suggest that in all horses making abnormal upper respiratory noise associated with poor performance, even where an abnormality is identified at rest, high-speed treadmill videoendoscopy should be performed for a complete diagnosis.