Successful treatment of persistent dorsal displacement of the soft palate and evaluation of laryngohyoid position in 15 racehorses.Equine Vet J. 2010 Jan; 42(1):23-9.EV
REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY
Caudal descent of the larynx has been proposed to be associated with intermittent dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) as it leads to a loss of the seal between the epiglottis and soft palate but further investigation of this theory is required.
To evaluate laryngohyoid position of horses with persistent DDSP in comparison to horses with intermittent DDSP and evaluate the outcome of treatment.
Horses with persistent DDSP have a different laryngohyoid position compared to those with intermittent DDSP. Horses with persistent DDSP can be returned successfully to racing with a laryngeal tie-forward procedure.
Medical records of 15 racehorses presented for persistent DDSP between 2002 and 2007 were reviewed. Age, sex and breed matched horses diagnosed with intermittent DDSP were used as a comparison group. Treatment of all horses was performed by laryngeal tie-forward, 8/15 horses with persistent DDSP had a subsequent laser staphylectomy. Preoperative laryngohyoid position was compared between the 2 groups using a radiographic reference system. Surgical effect on position was assessed by comparing pre- and post operative radiographic measurements. Outcome was assessed by return to racing and comparison of pre- and post operative race earnings ($).
Thirteen of 15 horses with persistent DDSP returned to racing. Seven of 15 horses were treated with laryngeal tie-forward alone while 8/15 horses were also treated with a laser staphylectomy. Horses with persistent DDSP had a more caudal larynx (ossification of the thyroid cartilage) (13 mm, P = 0.014), a more caudal (10 mm, P = 0.044) and dorsal (7 mm, P = 0.01) basihyoid bone, and a more dorsal thyrohyoid-thyroid articulation (10 mm, P = 0.002) than horses with intermittent DDSP.
CONCLUSIONS AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE
Racehorses with persistent DDSP can be treated successfully by laryngeal tie-forward or by laryngeal tie-forward followed by laser staphylectomy. Horses with persistent DDSP have a more caudal larynx and more caudal and dorsal basihyoid bone than horses with intermittent DDSP.