EQUUS - - Eq Medical Front -

A sim­ple, non­sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure can be used to suc­cess­fully treat some esophageal stric­tures, ac­cord­ing to a new study from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia–Davis.

An esophageal stric­ture is a nar­row­ing of the esoph­a­gus with fi­brous scar tis­sue that of­ten oc­curs af­ter a se­vere and pro­longed episode of choke. Af­fected horses have dif­fi­culty swal­low­ing, are more prone to re­cur­rent choke and may de­velop pneu­mo­nia if food passes into the tra­chea rather than the esoph­a­gus.

Surgery un­der gen­eral anes­the­sia has pre­vi­ously been used to cor­rect esophageal stric­tures, but the Cal­i­for­nia clin­i­cians have been treat­ing the con­di­tion us­ing a less-in­va­sive tech­nique that re­quires only stand­ing se­da­tion. In esophageal bal­loon di­la­tion, a bal­loon is in­serted into the esoph­a­gus and in­flated at the site of the stric­ture, cre­at­ing pres­sure that gen­tly breaks down the fi­brous tis­sue and widens the open­ing. Cor­ti­cos­teroids can be ad­min­is­tered af­ter the pro­ce­dure in an at­tempt to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion.

In a ret­ro­spec­tive study of nine horses whose stric­tures were treated with esophageal bal­loon di­la­tion, the re­searchers found that five sur­vived to be dis­charged from the hos­pi­tal. At the time of the last fol­low-up, the horses had sur­vived from two to 11 years and three were suc­cess­fully fed hay-based di­ets. All of the four horses who did not sur­vive were less than a year old and had con­cur­rent med­i­cal prob­lems, such as pneu­mo­nia.


Jour­nal of Ve­teri­nary In­ter­nal Medicine,

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