What's in a name? Inflammatory airway disease in racehorses in training

CARDWELL, J. M.; CHRISTLEY, R. M.; Gerber, Vinzenz; MALIKIDES, N.; WOOD, J. L. N.; NEWTON, J. R.; HODGSON, J. L. (2011). What's in a name? Inflammatory airway disease in racehorses in training. Equine veterinary journal, 43(6), pp. 756-758. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00339.x

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The term 'inflammatory airway disease' (IAD) is often used to describe the syndrome of lower airway inflammation that frequently affects young racehorses in training around the world. In practice, this inflammation is generally diagnosed using a combination of endoscopic tracheal examination, including grading of amounts of mucus present and tracheal wash sampling. However, a recent consensus statement from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine concluded that bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) sampling, rather than tracheal wash (TW) sampling, is required for cytological diagnosis of IAD and that tracheal mucus is not an essential criterion. However, as BAL is a relatively invasive procedure that is not commonly used on racing yards, this definition can only be applied routinely to a biased referral population. In contrast, many practitioners continue to diagnose IAD using endoscopic tracheal examination and sampling. We argue that, rather than restricting the use of the term IAD to phenotypes diagnosed by BAL, it is important to distinguish in the literature between airway inflammation diagnosed by BAL and that identified in the field using TW sampling. We suggest the use of the term brIAD for the former and trIAD for the latter. It is essential that we continue to endeavour to improve our understanding of the aetiology, pathogenesis and clinical relevance of airway inflammation identified in racehorses in training using tracheal examination and sampling. Future studies should focus on investigations of the component signs of airway inflammation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Equine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)

UniBE Contributor:

Gerber, Vinzenz


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Andrea Gassmann-Suter

Date Deposited:

22 Apr 2015 11:59

Last Modified:

22 Apr 2015 11:59

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

horse; airway; inflammation; racehorse; mucus; trlAD; IAD; BAL; TW





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