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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2003 Apr;19(1):87-100.

Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

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Sports Medicine and Imaging, Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348-1692, USA.


EIPH is a condition affecting virtually all horses during intense exercise worldwide. The hemorrhage originates from the pulmonary vasculature and is distributed predominantly bilaterally in the dorsocaudal lung lobes. As the condition progresses, the lung abnormalities extend cranially along the dorsal portions of the lung. An inflammatory response occurs in association with the hemorrhage and may contribute to the chronic sequela. Although conflicting opinions exist as to its affect on performance, it is a syndrome that is thought to increase in severity with age. The most commonly performed method to diagnose EIPH at the present time is endoscopy of the upper airway alone or in combination with tracheal wash analysis for the presence of erythrocytes and hemosiderophages. Because horses may not bleed to the same extent every time and the bleeding may originate from slightly different locations, these diagnostic procedures may not be extremely sensitive or quantitative. At this time, there is no treatment that is considered a panacea, and the currently allowed treatments have not proven to be effective in preventing EIPH. Future directions for therapeutic intervention may need to include limiting inflammatory responses to blood remaining within the lungs after EIPH.

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