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Exercise‐induced airflow changes in horses with asthma measured by electrical impedance tomography

Herteman, N., Mosing, M., Waldmann, A.D., Gerber, V. and Schoster, A. (2021) Exercise‐induced airflow changes in horses with asthma measured by electrical impedance tomography. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 35 (5). pp. 2500-2510.

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Equine asthma (EA) causes airflow impairment, which increases in severity with exercise. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is an imaging technique that can detect airflow changes in standing healthy horses during a histamine provocation test.


To explore EIT-calculated flow variables before and after exercise in healthy horses and horses with mild-to-moderate (MEA) and severe equine asthma (SEA).


Nine healthy horses 9 horses diagnosed with MEA and 5 with SEA were prospectively included.


Recordings were performed before and after 15 minutes of lunging. Absolute values from global and regional peak inspiratory (PIF, positive value) and expiratory (PEF, negative value) flows were calculated. Data were analyzed using a mixed model analysis followed by Bonferroni's multiple comparisons test to evaluate the impact of exercise and diagnosis on flow indices.


Control horses after exercise had significantly lower global PEF and PIF compared to horses with SEA (mean difference [95% confidence interval, CI]: 0.0859 arbitrary units [AU; 0.0339-0.1379], P < .001 and 0.0726 AU [0.0264-0.1188], P = .001, respectively) and horses with MEA (0.0561 AU [0.0129-0.0994], P = .007 and 0.0587 AU [0.0202-0.0973], P = .002, respectively). No other significant differences were detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

Electrical impedance tomography derived PIF and PEF differed significantly between healthy horses and horses with SEA or MEA after exercise, but not before exercise. Differences between MEA and SEA were not observed, but the study population was small.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors.
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