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See detailAlterations in mitochondrial respiratory function in response to endurance training and endurance racing
Votion, Dominique ULg; Fraipont, Audrey ULg; Goachet, Anne-Gaëlle et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2010), 42(38), 268-274

Objectives: To determine effects of training and racing on muscle oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and electron transport system (ETS) capacities in horses with high-resolution respirometry (HRR).

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See detailHydratation and electrolyte balance in horses during an endurance season
Robert, Céline; Goachet, Anne-Gaëlle; Fraipont, Audrey ULg et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2010), 42(38), 98-104

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See detailEffect of intensive exercise on plasmatic neutrophil elastase level in eventing and endurance horses
Lejeune, Jean-Philippe ULg; Sandersen, Charlotte ULg; Votion, Dominique ULg et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2010), 48

Reasons for performing the study – Intensive exercise induces a systemic inflammatory response characterized by an increase of blood neutrophil count and myeloperoxidase (MPO) release. Neutrophil elastase ... [more ▼]

Reasons for performing the study – Intensive exercise induces a systemic inflammatory response characterized by an increase of blood neutrophil count and myeloperoxidase (MPO) release. Neutrophil elastase (NE) could also contribute to tissues lesions by their proteinase activities. Objective – To compare plasmatic NE concentrations before and after different forms of intensive exercise. Materials and Methods – EDTA blood samples were taken from 51 eventing horses (EvH) and 32 endurance horses (EndH) were sampled before the race (T0). Blood sampling was performed 2 h (T1) after completing either phase D of a one or two star eventing competition (n=51) or a 120 or 160 km endurance race (n=32). Plasmatic NE and MPO were measured by a specific equine ELISA. Neutrophil counts and creatine kinase (CK) levels were also measured. A Wilcoxon test for paired samples was used to compare mean values of neutrophils, CK, MPO and NE at T0 and T1 in EvH and in EndH. Correlations were calculated between all the 4 parameters in EvH and EndH. Results – At T0, mean NE levels were 14.43 ± 3.63 ng/ml for EvH and 11.7 ± 2.11 ng/ml for EndH. The competition induced a significant increase of NE levels in (58.57 ± 24.06 ng/mL) EvH and (95.74 ± 22.70 ng/mL) EndH (p < 0,05). NE was significantly (p < 0,0001) correlated to MPO in EvH (r = 0.293) and EndH (0.594) and to CK (r = 0.297) in EndH (p<0.0001). Neutrophils, CK and MPO were significantly increased between T0 and T1 in both types of horses. Conclusions – Significant increase of NE was observed after intense exercise with a significant correlation between NE and MPO. The huge variability in MPO and ELT, indicates, that not all horses show the same intensity of systemic inflammatory response. [less ▲]

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See detailAltered systolic left ventricular function in horses completing a long distance endurance race
Amory, Hélène ULg; Votion, Dominique ULg; Fraipont, A. et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2010), 42(38), 216-219

Reasons for performing the study: It is unknown whether exercise-induced cardiac fatigue (EICF), as demonstrated in athletes performing long duration exercise, occurs in endurance horses. Objective: To ... [more ▼]

Reasons for performing the study: It is unknown whether exercise-induced cardiac fatigue (EICF), as demonstrated in athletes performing long duration exercise, occurs in endurance horses. Objective: To examine the effects of a long distance endurance race on left ventricular systolic function in horses. Methods: Echocardiography was performed before and after a 2 or 3 star international endurance race (106 to 132 km) in 11 horses. Systolic (s) and diastolic (d) interventricular and left ventricular free wall thickness (IVS and LVFW, respectively), left ventricular, left atrial and aortic internal diameter (LVID, LA and Ao, respectively), fractional shortening (FS) and ejection fraction (EF) were measured by echocardiography. Heart rate (HR), peak flow velocity (Vmax), flow velocity integral (FVI), ejection time (ET), pre-ejection period (PEP), velocity of circumferential fiber shortening (Vcf), stroke volume (SV) and cardiac output (CO) were measured from aortic Doppler wave recordings. Results: After the race, LVIDd, Ao, LA, EF, FS, FVI, SV, ET and ET indexed for HR were significantly lower and IVSd, LVFWd, HR, PEP, PEP/ET, and Vcf were significantly higher as compared with pre-race values. Pre- to post-exercise changes in those parameters were not significantly correlated with changes in HR or in LVIDd. Conclusions: Results suggest that EICF, with a decrease in left ventricular systolic function, could occur post-exercise in horses performing long duration endurance races. However, a confounding effect of altered preload and heart rate on the studied variables cannot be discounted. [less ▲]

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See detailHeel effects on joint contact force components in the equine digit : a sensitivity analysis
Noble, Prisca ULg; Lejeune, Jean-Philippe ULg; Caudron, Isabelle ULg et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2010), 42

Reasons for performing study: Whereas the effect of heel configuration on the tension of the suspensory apparatus is well documented in the literature, there are few reports of joint contact force ... [more ▼]

Reasons for performing study: Whereas the effect of heel configuration on the tension of the suspensory apparatus is well documented in the literature, there are few reports of joint contact force components in the equine distal forelimb. Objectives: To improve understanding of the effect of heel configuration on equine digit joint loading, a sensitivity analysis was performed to compare the effect of a raised heel on joint contact force components in the coffin and fetlock joints during the stance phase of the trot. Materials and methods: FourWarmblood horses were used. An inverse dynamic analysis was carried out using kinematic and kinetic data. Taking into account the tendon wrapping forces (WF) around the sesamoid bones in the calculations, the joint contact forces (CF) were estimated for the coffin and fetlock joints during the trot stance phase (4 m/s). To test the sensitivity of the results to heel configuration changes, calculations were performed repeatedly for different heel configurations (raised by 0, 6 and 12°). A one-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to test the effect of heel configuration (at the 3 levels) (a = 0.05; P<0.05; post hoc testing: Bonferroni). Results: For heel configurations raised from 0–12°: whereas the tension of the deep digital flexor tendon decreased and the tension of the superficial digital flexor tendon increased, for the coffin joint the peakWF(1.4 +- 0.25 bwt; 1.2 +- 0.2 bwt; 0.95 +- 0.1 bwt) and the peak CF (2.45 +- 0.25 bwt; 2.2 +- 0.2 bwt; 2 +- 0.1 bwt) decreased significantly (P<0.05). For the fetlock joint, the peak WF (3.8 +- 0.7 bwt; 4.1 +- 0.3 bwt; 4.4 0.25 bwt) and the peak CF (4.35 +- 0.7 bwt; 4.7 +- 0.35 bwt; 5 +- 0.3 bwt) increased, but not significantly. Conclusion: This analysis suggests that the coffin joint loading and fetlock joint loading are strongly connected. The heel configuration may influence both coffin joint and fetlock joint contact force components. [less ▲]

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See detailPlasma concentrations of myeloperoxidase in endurance and 3-day event horses after a competition
Art, Tatiana ULg; Franck, Thierry ULg; Gangl, M. et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2006), 36

REASON FOR PERFORMING STUDY: In man, exercise of any type has been shown to induce neutrophil degranulation and respiratory burst activity, as well as an increase in plasma myeloperoxidase (MPO), a ... [more ▼]

REASON FOR PERFORMING STUDY: In man, exercise of any type has been shown to induce neutrophil degranulation and respiratory burst activity, as well as an increase in plasma myeloperoxidase (MPO), a specific enzyme of neutrophil azurophilic granules with a strong oxidative activity. Until now, it is not known whether this is the same in horses. OBJECTIVES: To study whether degranulation of blood neutrophils may be induced by exercise by measuring the total concentration of MPO and assess the possible influence of type of competition on this exercise-induced adjustment. METHODS: Blood was sampled before, and 30 min after, the course, in 9 ponies performing the Phase D of a national 3-day event championship (CIC*), and in 7 endurance horses participating at the European endurance championship 2005. White blood cells and granulocytes, total plasma proteins, creatine phosphokinase (CK), and total MPO contents were determined from blood samples. In addition, blood was taken from all ponies and 4 of the endurance horses 5 min after completion of the course to give some idea of the intensity of exercise. RESULTS: The mean blood lactate was 15.8 +/- 5.8 mmol/l after the CIC* and 2.7 +/- 0.2 mmol/l after the 160 km course. Performing both competitions induced a significant increase in CK and MPO. After the endurance course, the number of granulocytes significantly increased. Whilst there was no significant correlation between the measurements in CIC* ponies, MPO was significantly correlated with granulocyte count (r2 = 0.776) and CK (r2 = 0.586) in endurance horses. CONCLUSIONS: Intense exercise induces an activation of blood granulocytes, with degranulation of neutrophils and release of MPO. The plasmatic MPO concentration after endurance was higher than the values reported in some inflammatory pathological conditions. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: This phenomenon may partly contribute to the occurrence of an exercise-induced oxidative stress and to the alteration of muscular membrane permeability. Further studies should be conducted to assess the possible relationship between MPO concentration and markers of oxidative stress in performance horses [less ▲]

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See detailThe Effects of Dietary N-3 and Antioxidant Supplementation on Erythrocyte Membrane Fatty Acid Composition and Fluidity in Exercising Horses
Portier, Karine; de Moffarts, Brieuc; Fellman, Nicole et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2006), 36

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Fatty acid supplementation could modulate erythrocyte membrane fluidity in horses at rest and during exercise, but information is lacking on the effect of exercise ... [more ▼]

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Fatty acid supplementation could modulate erythrocyte membrane fluidity in horses at rest and during exercise, but information is lacking on the effect of exercise. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of exercise with, and without, an oral antioxidant supplementation enriched with n-3 fatty acids on erythrocyte membrane fluidity (EMF) and fatty acid composition in eventing horses. METHODS: Twelve healthy and regularly trained horses were divided randomly into 2 groups: group S received an oral antioxidant cocktail enriched in n-3 fatty acid (alphatocopherol, eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) whereas group P was placebo-treated. At the end of 4 weeks, all horses performed a standardised exercise test (ET) under field conditions. Venous blood was sampled before starting treatment (TO), immediately before (T1) as well as 15 min (T2) and 24 h (T3) after ET. Spin labelled (16-DOXYL-stearic acid) red blood cell membranes were characterised using the relaxation correlation time (Tc in inverse proportion to EMF). Fatty acid composition (%) of the membrane was determined by gas-liquid chromatography. RESULTS: Supplementation did not induce changes in EMF (T1 vs. TO) but significant changes in membrane composition were observed and there were increases in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid PUFA, n-3/n-6 ratio, and total n-3 fatty acids. Exercise (T2 vs. T1) induced a significant decrease of EMF in group P (Tc: +19%, P<0.05) and nonsignificant decrease in group S (Tc: +5%), whereas membrane fatty acid composition did not change in either group. During the recovery period (T3 vs. T2), EMF decreased significantly in group S (Tc: +29%, P<0.05) and nonsignificantly in group P (Tc: +18%) without any significant changes in fatty acid composition. CONCLUSION AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: An enriched oral antioxidant supplementation induced changes in membrane composition, which modulated the decrease in EMF induced by exercise. Long chain n-3 fatty acid supplementation might therefore be beneficial. [less ▲]

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See detailExercise and pharmacological stress echocardiography in healthy horses
Sandersen, Charlotte ULg; Detilleux, Johann ULg; Art, Tatiana ULg et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2006), 37

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Stress echocardiography could be a useful diagnostic test in horses suspected to suffer from exercise-induced myocardial dysfunction as a cause of exercise intolerance ... [more ▼]

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Stress echocardiography could be a useful diagnostic test in horses suspected to suffer from exercise-induced myocardial dysfunction as a cause of exercise intolerance. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of treadmill exercise and pharmacological stress test on left ventricular echocardiographic parameters. METHODS: Echocardiography was performed in 2 groups of 5 healthy horses, either immediately after a near-maximal treadmill exercise (Group EXE) or during a pharmacological challenge (Group DOB) consisting of 35 microg/kg atropine, followed by incremental dobutamine infusion rates of 2-6 microg/kg bwt/min for 5 min duration each, which led to a cumulative dobutamine dose of 100 microg/kg. Left ventricular M-mode parameters were compared at rest and at heart rates of 80, 100, 110, 120 130, and 140 beats/min, within each group. RESULTS: In 2 horses of Group EXE, echocardiographic measurements were impossible at 140 and 130 beats/min, as their heart rates dropped too fast in the immediate post exercise period. In the remaining 3 horses image quality was not always satisfactory at heart rates of 130 and 140 beats/min. Systolic left ventricular parameters and fractional shortening measured at 130 and 140 beats/min were significantly different from values obtained at lower heart rates. Horses in Group DOB reached expected heart rates of 80 and 100 beats/min, after the administration of atropine and during a dobutamine infusion rate of 2 microg/kg bwt/min, respectively. Heart rates targets of 110, 120, 130, and 140 beats/min were reached at mean (+/- s.d.) dobutamine infusion rates of 2.8 +/- 0.4, 3.2 +/- 0.4, 4.0 +/- 0.7, 5 +/- 0.7 microg/kg bwt/min, respectively. Systolic left ventricular parameters and fractional shortening at heart rates of 110, 120, 130, and 140 beats/min, were significantly different from values obtained at lower heart rates. CONCLUSION: The pharmacological stress test induced changes in ventricular dimensions at heart rates of 80 to 140 beats/min. Using this test, high quality images can easily be obtained at heart rates of 140 beats/min. Conversely, in post exercise echocardiography, obtaining good quality images at heart rates of 130 and 140 beats/min is difficult, which limits use of the technique in routine clinical settings. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: Further studies should demonstrate the potential of pharmacological stress test as a diagnostic tool in horses suffering from exercise-induced myocardial dysfunction. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of a portable equine metabolic measurement system
Art, Tatiana ULg; Duvivier, D. H.; van Erck, Emmanuelle et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2006), 36

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: In equine sports medicine, VO2 has been measured exclusively with stationary systems, in laboratories equipped with a treadmill. Measurement during exercise in field ... [more ▼]

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: In equine sports medicine, VO2 has been measured exclusively with stationary systems, in laboratories equipped with a treadmill. Measurement during exercise in field conditions has not previously been reported because of the lack of portable equipment designed for horses. OBJECTIVES: A commercially available portable metabolic measurement system, based on breath-to-breath gas analysis and flow spirometry, was adapted to the horse's physiology and morphology (Cosmed K4b2 and Equimask) and its validity tested by (1) repeatability of the measures and (2) comparing metabolic data to those obtained by a reference method (RM). METHODS: To test the reproducibility of the measurements, 5 healthy saddle horses were subjected twice at 2 day intervals to a similar submaximal standardised incremental exercise test on a treadmill. The same horses performed twice at one week interval an incremental treadmill test to fatigue: the oxygen consumption and ventilation were measured once with the K4b2 system and once with the RM. The metabolic and ventilatory data obtained with both systems were compared. RESULTS: There was a good reproducibility of the metabolic measurements obtained by the K4b2 system at any workload. The VO2 obtained by both systems at any workload was not significantly different. However, the K4b2 expired fraction in CO2 (FETCO2) and carbon dioxide production (VCO2) were significantly lower at high and at maximal workloads. As a consequence, the values of the respiratory exchange ratio were too low and incompatible with normal physiological values. CONCLUSIONS: The good reproducibility of the metabolic and ventilatory measurements and the fact that the VO2 measurements at any workload were similar to the data obtained with the reference method suggested that this system may be used for comparison of repeated VO2 measurements in practical field conditions. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: The K4b2 system could be used to improve knowledge of the energetic cost in different equine sports disciplines and offer the opportunity to undertake performance tests with genuine track conditions, on ridden or harnessed horses, rather than under laboratory conditions [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of exercise on blood oxidant/antioxidant markers in standardbred horses: comparison between treadmill and race track tests.
de Moffarts, Brieuc; Kirschvink, Nathalie; Art, Tatiana ULg et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2006), (36), 254-257

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Interest in establishing oxidant/ antioxidant profiles in competition horses is increasing. Earlier studies performed in horses have mainly been performed under laboratory ... [more ▼]

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Interest in establishing oxidant/ antioxidant profiles in competition horses is increasing. Earlier studies performed in horses have mainly been performed under laboratory conditions using a treadmill and it is not known to what extent laboratory results of oxidant/antioxidant studies might be transposed to field conditions. OBJECTIVE: To compare the impact on the blood oxidant/ antioxidant status of a standardised exercise test including a run up to fatigue performed on a treadmill (TM) and on a racetrack (RT) in healthy and trained Standardbred horses. MATERIAL AND METHODS: During TM and RT tests the following blood antioxidant markers were analysed in jugular venous blood at rest and 15 mins (E15) after an intense bout of exercise: uric acid (UA), ascorbic acid (AA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione (reduced: GSH and oxidised: GSSG), glutathione redox ratio (GRR) and protein thiol (PSH). Running time to fatigue (RTF), velocity during the last exercise stage (Vmax), final heart rate (HRfinal) and venous lactic acid (LA) were also recorded. RESULTS: Vmax was significantly (P<0.05) higher during the RT, whereas LA was significantly lower. HRfinal and RTF did not differ significantly between TM and RT. Exercise induced a significant increase (R vs. E15) of UA and AA in both tests, whereas GSH and PSH decreased significantly. GPx, SOD, GSSG and GRR remained unchanged. Differences between TM and RT were significant at E15 for UA, AA and PSH. CONCLUSIONS: Comparison of oxidant/antioxidant profiles from laboratory and field studies are difficult to standardise and should be interpreted with caution. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: For the same RTF and final HR, the TM induced stronger changes in blood lactate and in blood oxidant/antioxidant balance than did RT. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of blood oxidant/antioxidant markers in healthy competition horses of different breeds
Kirschvink, Nathalie; de Moffarts, Brieuc; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2006), 36

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: There is increasing evidence that the equine athlete is exposed to exercise-induced changes of its oxidant/antioxidant balance and antioxidant supplementation is frequently ... [more ▼]

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: There is increasing evidence that the equine athlete is exposed to exercise-induced changes of its oxidant/antioxidant balance and antioxidant supplementation is frequently recommended. However, it is unknown whether there is a specific need for antioxidants according to performance, breed, gender or age. OBJECTIVES: To assess whether breed-, gender- and age-related differences of blood oxidant/antioxidant markers occur in competition horses. METHODS: Healthy horses (n = 493) underwent oxidant/ antioxidant blood marker determination. Vitamin E, lipophilic antioxidant capacity (ACL), ascorbic acid (AA), glutathione (GSH, GSSG), gluthione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), selenium (Se), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lipid peroxides (Pool), oxidised proteins (Protox) were determined, as well as magnesium (Mg), creatine phosphokinase (CPK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin (Hb). A mixed linear model assessed the effect of breed, gender and age category. P<0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: Thoroughbreds showed the highest values of vitamin E, ACL, GPx, PCV and Hb, whilst standardbreds had the highest values of AA and LDH. Jumping horses had the highest Protox values. Females had significantly higher SOD values, whereas most of the other markers were higher in stallions and geldings. Horses age 2-6 years had higher AA, SOD and LDH values than horses age >6 years. Correlation analyses were positive and significant between vitamin E and GPx, VitE and ACL, Se and GPx, Cu and Pool and negative between Pool and vitamin E, Pool and ACL, Protox and GPx, Protox and vitamin E. CONCLUSIONS: Blood oxidant/ antioxidant status of horses is influenced by breed, gender and age. The correlation analyses suggest synergistic relations between GPx, vitamin E and Se and an antagonistic relation between Protox-GPx, Protox-vitamin E, and Pool-vitamin E. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: The results of this investigation provide definition of the specific need for antioxidants and vitamins in competition horses. [less ▲]

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See detailExercise-induced pulmonary perfusion redistribution in heaves
Harmegnies, N. F.; Duvivier, D. H.; Vandenput, Sandrina ULg et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2002), 34(suppl), 478-484

This study aimed to compare exercise-induced pulmonary perfusion redistribution in healthy vs. 'heavey' horses using scintigraphy, a minimally invasive technique. Six healthy (A) and 5 'heavey' horses in ... [more ▼]

This study aimed to compare exercise-induced pulmonary perfusion redistribution in healthy vs. 'heavey' horses using scintigraphy, a minimally invasive technique. Six healthy (A) and 5 'heavey' horses in remission (B(I)) and during clinical signs of disease (B(II)) were investigated. Dimensions of the exercising pulmonary perfusion (QE) images were expressed in percent of the resting perfusion (QR) images. Computed QE to QR ratios (QE/QR) images enabled the definition of the region more perfused at exercise than at rest (R1). In all groups, exercise induced a major enlargement of the Q image but a larger increase of the lung height was found in 'heavey' horses. Compared to A, 'heavey' horses showed a larger R1 region with a significantly higher QE/QR. Location of R1 pointed out the dorsal lung region as a major site of pulmonary perfusion redistribution for all groups. This work demonstrated (1) the feasibility of using scintigraphy for studying exercise-induced pulmonary perfusion redistribution; (2) perfusion redistribution to the dorsal lung with exercise and (3) an intensified redistribution in 'heavey' horses, either clinically affected or not. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of instillation into lung of autologous blood on pulmonary function and tracheobronchial wash cytology
Art, Tatiana ULg; Tack, S.; Kirschvink, Nathalie et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2002), 34

This study aimed at measuring the functional consequences and the pulmonary cytology changes following a simulation of pulmonary haemorrhage. Pulmonary function tests including lobeline-induced ... [more ▼]

This study aimed at measuring the functional consequences and the pulmonary cytology changes following a simulation of pulmonary haemorrhage. Pulmonary function tests including lobeline-induced hyperventilation, cytology of tracheo-bronchial wash (TBW) and thoracic radiographs were performed before, as well as 1, 7, 14 and 28 days after, the instillation of 300 ml of blood into the lungs of 4 horses deemed free of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (Group 1). Control data (Group 2) were obtained by instilling the same volume of saline into the lungs of the same horses in a crossover design (control). The instillation of blood or saline resulted in an increase in the number of neutrophils in the TBW. Thoracic radiographs showed increased opacity in the caudodorsal region of the lungs in 4/4 (Day 1) and 2/4 horses (Day 7), in Group 1, and in 2/4 (Day 1) and 0/4 horses (Day 7) in the control group. These changes were attributed to the instillation procedure rather than the nature of the instilled material. Breathing mechanics and arterial blood gases at rest were not affected in either Groups 1 or 2. However, the maximal expiratory peak flow recorded during lobeline-induced hyperventilation was significantly lower (P<0.05) and the total pulmonary resistance significantly higher (P<0.05) on Day 1 in Group 1, but not Group 2. These observations suggest that expiratory flows might be partly limited in bleeders when breathing at high airflow [less ▲]

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See detailRelationship between markers of blood oxidant status and physiological variables in healthy and heaves-affected horses after exercise
Kirschvink, Nathalie; Art, Tatiana ULg; de Moffarts, Brieuc et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (2002), 34

Exercise-induced oxidative stress is investigated as a potential performance-limiting factor in human sports medicine. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess whether physiological variables that ... [more ▼]

Exercise-induced oxidative stress is investigated as a potential performance-limiting factor in human sports medicine. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess whether physiological variables that change with exercise intensity were correlated with blood oxidant markers in healthy and heaves-affected horses. Seven healthy horses, 8 heaves-affected in remission and 7 heaves-affected in crisis performed a standardised exercise test (SET) of stepwise increasing intensity. Variables monitored during exercise were heart rate (HR), venous plasma lactate (LA), packed cell volume (PCV) and arterial oxygen tension (PaO2). Oxidant markers (uric acid [UA], 8-iso-PGF2alpha and reduced [GSH] and oxidised glutathione [GSSG]) were analysed in venous peripheral blood sampled at rest (R), at peak-exercise intensity (Emax), 15 (E15) and 60 (E60) min after SET. There was a significant effect of heaves on oxidant markers and, therefore, correlation analyses between physiological variables and oxidant markers were performed separately per horse group. In healthy horses, UA analysed at Emax was positively correlated with LA. Furthermore, GSH analysed at Emax and E15 was positively correlated with PaO2. In healthy and heaves-affected horses in remission, GSH and GSSG determined at Emax were negatively correlated with HR. There was no significant correlation between 8-iso-PGF2alpha and physiological variables. In conclusion, a correlation between the physiological response to exercise and some oxidant markers exists in healthy horses. However, in heaves-affected horses the blood oxidant status is probably more dependant on airway disease than on exercise. Future studies should be undertaken to assess whether antioxidant supplementation might positively influence the oxidant-antiodidant balance in exercising horses. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of exercise and COPD crisis on isoprostane concentration in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in horses
Kirschvink, Nathalie; Art, Tatiana ULg; Smith, Nicola et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (1999), 30

To test whether isoprostanes could be used as markers of oxidative stress in horses, their concentration was determined in plasma and in pulmonary epithelial lining fluid (PELF) in 3 models of oxidative ... [more ▼]

To test whether isoprostanes could be used as markers of oxidative stress in horses, their concentration was determined in plasma and in pulmonary epithelial lining fluid (PELF) in 3 models of oxidative stress: (1) strenuous exercise, (2) acute COPD crisis and (3) exercise combined with COPD crisis. Four horses were investigated twice, once in crisis and once in remission. The animals underwent a standardised treadmill exercise test. Isoprostane assessment was performed in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 24 h before and 1 h after exercise and in plasma also immediately after exercise. Exercise in remission induced a significant increase of isoprostanes in plasma and in PELF. In horses in crisis, the isoprostane concentrations did not increase in plasma, while they did increase in PELF. Lastly, exercise in crisis increased plasma levels of isoprostanes, but did not change PELF isoprostanes. In conclusion, 1) isoprostanes are increased by systemic oxidative stress induced by strenuous exercise in COPD horses in remission either in PELF or in plasma; 2) only PELF and not plasma isoprostanes are increased by pulmonary oxidative stress induced by COPD crisis and 3) unexpectedly, exercise in crisis increased plasma but not PELF isoprostanes. [less ▲]

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See detailFeasibility of scintigraphy in exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage detection and quantification: preliminary studies.
Votion, Dominique ULg; Roberts, C. A.; Marlin, D. J. et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (1999), 30

We hypothesised that scintigraphic imaging of the lungs following injection of 99mTc labelled red blood cells (99mTc-RBC) in the exercising horse might enable exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH ... [more ▼]

We hypothesised that scintigraphic imaging of the lungs following injection of 99mTc labelled red blood cells (99mTc-RBC) in the exercising horse might enable exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH) quantification. Ideally, to favour detection of bleeding, circulating 99mTc-RBC not involved in the haemorrhage should be removed from the circulation quickly. Altering RBC during labelling to stimulate splenic uptake of 99mTc-RBC may encourage this. In order to investigate this hypothesis, 99mTc-RBC distribution was followed for 1 h in 2 groups of horses. Group 1 was injected i.v., at rest, with radioactive nondenatured RBC (99mTc-NDRBC); Group 2 received labelled RBC partly denatured by heating (99mTc-HDRBC). In Group 2, splenic uptake was higher at all times and radioactivity in the lung was proportionally higher and decreased less quickly than in Group 1. Hence, the time-consuming 99mTc-HDRBC labelling technique did not demonstrate any advantage over the easier 99mTc-NDRBC labelling procedure. Additionally, the feasibility of scintigraphic visualisation of a small amount of pulmonary bleeding was confirmed with the following trial: using an endoscope, a radioactive solution mimicking 50 ml of bleeding was deposited at the usual site of EIPH in a live horse. The radioactivity recorded in that area was compared to the one obtained in the same region in Group 1 and 2. The activity measured 20 min post endoscopy corresponded to 33% of the activity obtained in Group 1 vs. 8% in Group 2 at that timing. Once again, there was no advantage of using 99mTc-HDRBC vs. 99mTc-NDRBC. These results demonstrated that small amounts of bleeding might potentially be detected with scintigraphy; they also suggest that the limiting factor for detecting small amounts of bleeding may be the level of lung background radioactivity. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Development of a methodology to measure fearfullness in horses. Waltham Symposium "The role of the horse in Europe"
Vierin, M.; Vandenheede, Marc ULg; Bouissou, Marie-France et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (1999), 28

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See detailThe effects of training on ventilation and blood gases in exercising Thoroughbreds
Roberts, C. A.; Marlin, D. J.; Lekeux, Pierre ULg

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (1999), 30

The effects of training on ventilation and blood gases during exercise were investigated in 6 clinically normal, detrained Thoroughbred horses. They underwent a 16 week training programme similar to the ... [more ▼]

The effects of training on ventilation and blood gases during exercise were investigated in 6 clinically normal, detrained Thoroughbred horses. They underwent a 16 week training programme similar to the type frequently used for Thoroughbred racehorses in Great Britain. Standardized treadmill exercise tests (2 min canter at 8 and 10 m/s C8 and C10[ and 2 min gallop at 12 m/s [G12], on a level surface) were performed prior to and after 16 weeks of training. Respiratory flow rates were measured using ultrasound flow transducers. Blood samples were drawn from a transverse facial artery and the right atrium. Minute ventilation, respiratory frequency and tidal volume were not significantly altered by training. Peak inspiratory flow rate was lower following training at 8 and 10 m/s, but not at 12 m/s. Arterial oxygen tension was decreased during trot and canter following training. Blood lactate concentration post G12 decreased following training (10.5 +/- 2.2 mmol/l vs. 7.7 +/- 2.2 mmol/l; P < 0.05). The increase in the degree of exercise-induced arterial hypoxaemia following training may reflect a lack of pulmonary adaptation to training in the face of improved cardiovascular and muscular function. [less ▲]

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See detailCardiorespiratory measurements and indices of oxidative stress in exercising COPD horses
Art, Tatiana ULg; Kirschvink, Nathalie; Smith, Nicola et al

in Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement (1999), 30

The effect of a COPD crisis on arterial blood gases, heart rate, lactate and indices of oxidative stress were investigated before, during and 1 h after a 'run up to fatigue' in 6 COPD horses. They were ... [more ▼]

The effect of a COPD crisis on arterial blood gases, heart rate, lactate and indices of oxidative stress were investigated before, during and 1 h after a 'run up to fatigue' in 6 COPD horses. They were investigated twice, randomly: once in acute crisis (C) and once in clinical remission (R). Arterial and mixed venous blood samples were collected and analysed for partial pressures in O2 and CO2. The mixed venous blood was also analysed for plasma lactate (LA) and packed cell volume (PCV), as well as for indices of oxidative stress, i.e. reduced glutathione, glutathione disulphide, glutathione redox ratio (GRR) and lipid hydroperoxides (LPH). The exercise test was an effort of increasing intensity on a treadmill at 0% slope, which was stopped when the horses showed signs of exhaustion. Their performance was evaluated by the number of steps and the running time in the last step. Heart rate was monitored continuously during the test. Blood sampling was performed before, just after and 1 h after the end of the test. The COPD crisis significantly reduced the time to fatigue. However, despite the fact that the exercise intensity and length were lower, peak HR and peak LA were similar in C and R, while arterial hypoxaemia and hypercapnia, and PCV were significantly higher in C, indicating a higher physiological stress in this condition. By contrast, the oxidative stress seemed to be higher in R than in C as suggested by the fact that, 1 h after exercise, GRR and LPH were significantly increased with regards to their pre-exercise values in R and not in C. The fact that exercise did not induce an oxidative stress in C could be partly related to (1) the lower exercise intensity reached by the horses, and (2) to the more severe hypoxaemia experienced in this condition. In conclusion, COPD horses in acute crisis show a significant decrease in performance. The reasons for this exercise intolerance remain unclear, but do not appear to be related to any increase of the oxidative stress in C. [less ▲]

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