[en] This study proposed a standardized method for measuring alveolar epithelium membrane permeability in the horse. The normal rate of clearance (%.min-1) from lung into blood of nebulized 99mTc-DTPA has been established for healthy horses (Group A) compared with values obtained with horses suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; Group B). The 99mTc-DTPA clearance was measured in the caudoventral (R1) and in the half caudal (R2) parts of the left lung during different time intervals. The two regions aimed to define the influence of the airways on measured clearance (R2 contained proportionally more conducting airways than R1). It was concluded that a comparison of groups of subjects may be performed in R2 and on data collected during a 20 min period. The normal clearance rate in R2 was 1.80 +/- 0.46%.min-1 (T1/2R2 = 40.99 +/- 12.45 min) in Group A. In Group B, a significantly faster 99mTc-DTPA transfer rate was found (4.17 +/- 0.83%.min-1 or T1/2R2 = 17.17 +/- 3.38min). Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) suggested that the increased permeability measured in Group B could be the result of lung inflammatory responses. Our results have demonstrated the ability of the 99mTc-DTPA clearance test to detect alveolar epithelial damage in horses. Furthermore, we were able to show that a regional analysis of the alveolar-capillary barrier integrity may be performed satisfactorily in the equine patient.