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Equine Vet J. 2008 May;40(3):214-8. doi: 10.2746/042516408X273666.

Long-term study of partial arytenoidectomy with primary mucosal closure in 76 Thoroughbred racehorses (1992-2006).

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA.



The effectiveness and best method to perform a partial arytenoidectomy in racehorses is unclear. This study was performed to evaluate the success of and complications that can occur after a unilateral partial arytenoidectomy with primary mucosal closure in Thoroughbred racehorses.


Partial arytenoidectomy is an effective surgical procedure to return Thoroughbred racehorses, afflicted by arytenoid chondropathy or a failed laryngoplasty, to preoperative levels of performance.


Seventy-six Thoroughbred racehorses admitted to the New Bolton Centre between 1992 and 2006 were assessed. Information was obtained from the medical records about the horse, laryngeal abnormalities, surgery and other findings during hospitalisation. Racing information was evaluated relative to those independent variables by an analysis of variance with a level of significance of P<0.05.


Arytenoid chondropathy was the presenting complaint in 54 horses and failed laryngoplasty in 22 horses. Thirteen horses (17%) underwent a second surgery for laser excision of intralaryngeal granulation tissue at the arytenoidectomy site. Seventy-three horses were discharged from the hospital and racing outcome was evaluated. Sixty horses (82%) raced after surgery and 46 horses (63%) raced 5 or more times after surgery. The median time from surgery to the first start was 6 months. The average earnings/start was not significantly different before and after surgery. There was no association between earnings after surgery and age, gender, location of lesion, type of lesion, duration of tracheal intubation or undergoing a second surgery.


A Thoroughbred racehorse is likely to race after a unilateral partial arytenoidectomy with primary mucosal closure and return to a preoperative level of performance.

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