A research study evaluated the effect of laser salpingopharyngostomy on the guttural pouch environment of healthy horses. The article was titles, “Evaluation of the effect of laser salpingopharyngostomy on the guttural pouch environment in horses” and was authored by C.C. Jukic, N.R. Cowling, N.R. Perkins, A.W. van Eps and B.J. Ahern.
Six adult Standardbred horses free from endoscopic evidence of guttural pouch abnormalities were included in the study. A stab incision was made ventral to the sternocephalicus tendon and a customized trocar inserted into the into the floor of the right medial guttural pouch compartment under standing sedation. Baseline (Day 0) temperature, humidity, oxygen (O) and carbon dioxide (CO) levels were recorded. A 2 cm x 2 cm salpingopharyngostomy was created into the dorsocaudal pharynx abaxially off midline into the floor of the right medial guttural pouch compartment. The guttural pouch environment was re-evaluated at 7 and 14 days post-operatively. All horses underwent URT and guttural pouch examination via endoscopy at 3 and 12 months after the completion of sampling.
The guttural pouch environment was altered by the laser salpingopharyngostomy, with considerable variation between horses and during the sampling period. The level of CO post-laser salpingopharyngostomy appeared to be linked directly to the horse’s respiratory pattern, and the variation in CO was significantly different at Days 7 and 14 post-laser salpingopharyngostomy compared to baseline levels. Oxygen levels were also more varied during sampling compared to baseline. There was no change in humidity or temperature during the study.
Bottom line: Laser salpingopharyngostomy into the guttural pouch might be useful in clinical cases of guttural pouch disease where alteration of the environment may be beneficial.