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Equine Laryngoplasty Sutures Undergo Increased Loading During Coughing and Swallowing

Witte, Thomas H., Cheetham, Jon, Soderholm, Leo V., Mitchell, Lisa M., Ducharme, Norm G.
Veterinary surgery 2010 v.39 no.8 pp. 949-956
cartilage, cough, deglutition, horses, larynx, nerve tissue, surgery, sutures
Objectives: To report (1) the force required on a single laryngoplasty suture to achieve optimal abduction of the left arytenoid cartilage, (2) peak forces experienced by the suture during induced swallowing and coughing, and during 24-hour resting activity in a stall, and (3) peak forces during induced swallowing and coughing after left recurrent laryngeal nerve blockade. Study Design: Experimental study. Animals: Horses (n=8). Methods: Each laryngoplasty suture was instrumented with an E-type buckle force transducer to measure the force required for optimal intraoperative left arytenoid cartilage abduction. This was correlated with abduction observed postoperatively. Change in suture force from baseline was measured during induced coughing and swallowing, and during normal stall activity. Results: Optimal intraoperative arytenoid abduction was achieved with a mean (±SD) force of 27.6±7.5 N. During saline-induced swallowing and coughing mean force on the suture increased by 19.0±5.6 N (n=233 measurements; 7 horses) and 12.1±3.6 N (n=31; 4 horses), respectively. Sutures underwent increased loading a mean of 1152 times in 24 hours. No change in suture force was observed with respiratory rhythm. Conclusion: Swallowing increases laryngoplasty suture force to a greater extent than coughing.