Tidal breathing flow-volume loop (TBFVL) indices in healthy horses and in horses suffering from mild and moderate to severe recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) were measured. In addition, the ability of these indices to differentiate healthy controls from horses with mild RAO by separating the horses according to their usage was investigated. The horses were assigned to three sporting categories: 1 Leisure horses; 2 Horses competing at events with a duration of more than five minutes (eventing, coaching and endurance); and 3 Horses competing at events with a duration of less than five minutes (dressage and show jumping). Flow-volume curves were recorded with an ultrasonic spirometer and TBFVL indices were calculated with specially dedicated software. The sporting usage of the horses had a significant effect on the differentiating ability of TBFVL indices in diagnosing different degrees of RAO. The index TIF50 differentiated control horses from horses with minor RAO in all sporting categories.
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