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Evaluating a new surgical technique to repair upper respiratory tract obstruction in horses

Summary: Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of a new surgical suture technique to improve upper airway function in horses with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy, a common upper respiratory disease in horses. 

Description: Recurrent laryngeal neuropathy is a progressive destruction and weakening of the nerve supply to the muscles of the larynx (voice box) resulting in narrowing of the upper airway opening and breathing difficulty. Laryngoplasty is a common surgical procedure to correct RLN that involves placing a suture to tie back the diseased cartilage at the back of the larynx and open the airway passage to facilitate breathing. The most common complication of this procedure involves loosening or breakage of the suture resulting in partial to complete surgical failure. In a mechanical load study of tissue models, researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of a new surgical technique that uses a self-locking suture button. A mechanically superior laryngoplasty will improve the quality of life for horses with RLN undergoing surgery.


INVESTIGATOR: Santiago D Gutierrez Nibeyro, University of Illinois

SPONSOR(S): United States Eventing Association