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Reliability of upper respiratory tract endoscopic grading in horses

C. L. McGivney, J. Sweeney, F. David, J. M. O'Leary, E. W. Hill,

L. M. Katz

ENDOSCOPIC evaluation of disorders of the structure and function of the equine upper respiratory tract (URT) are typically assessed through the use of ordinal grading systems described for each individual condition. In order to effectively draw conclusions about the presence and severity of any URT condition, it is important to determine that grading systems can be used in a comparable way with minimal variability.

The objective of the current study was to determine estimates of intra- and interobserver reliability for identification and grading of URT disorders during evaluation of resting and overground endoscopic (OGE) videos of thoroughbred horses.

Resting and OGE URT videos for 43 thoroughbreds were retrospectively chosen based on identification of common URT disorders. The videos were randomly evaluated in duplicate by four clinicians blinded to previous medical history and graded according to previously defined scales. Intraobserver and interobserver reliability were statistically evaluated.

Intraobserver agreement was perfect/nearly perfect for arytenoid symmetry at exercise, epiglottic entrapment and epiglottic retroversion; substantial for arytenoid asymmetry at rest, palatal dysfunction, medial …

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