AXIAL DEVIATION of the ARYEPIGLOTTIC FOLDS (ADAF) in the HORSE - Surgical TREATMENT

ADAF is a frequently diagnosed condition of the upper airway (throat) of the horse. The diagnosis is made during treadmill or overground endoscopy. ADAF may in some instances be a ‘primary’ condition caused by turbulence within the nasopharynx or airway. However in most cases it is actually a symptom or consequence of another more primary dysfunction. The most common of these is Palatal Instability (PI) where during inspiration (breathing in) air passes firstly through the mouth, then through the intrapharyngeal ostium and finally is drawn around the aryepiglottic folds into the larynx. This last part of the airs journey causes the folds to be drawn axially.


TREATMENT - surgical.

  1. i.If ADAF is a ‘primary’ condition then laser or surgical resection of the abundant folds is indicated.

  2. ii.If ADAF is ‘secondary’ then attention should be directed at correcting the primary condition. This should result in negation of ADAF. Surgical resection of the folds in this instance would be a symptomatic treatment only and is thus not recommended and would be unlikely to lead to long term improvement.

The ‘Modified Ahern Procedure’ should both decrease the incidence of PI and the sub-epiglottic mucosae stripping element of the procedure also has a tendency to reduce billowing in the aryepiglottic folds.


Note - See  PALATAL INSTABILITY in the HORSE - Surgical  TREATMENT