EPIGLOTTIC ENTRAPMENT

The epiglottis can become entrapped within subepiglottal mucosas (EE).

These entrapments can be (1) permanent and ulceration of these mucosas can occur particularly about the tip of the epiglottis. These entrapments may or may not affect race performance. (2) Intermittent EE is the term used when the epiglottis is entrapped at one standing endoscopic examination and not at the next. EE may also be (3) intermittent only whilst exercising which then requires treadmill endoscopy for its diagnosis.


There are numerous surgical approaches to deal with (1). Types (2) and (3) are difficult to approach as the tissue is often not entrapping at the time of surgery.

The best approach is to use the same approach as that used in OPP surgery. The surgeon generally needs to be possessed of a fairly small hand to be able to manipulate these mucosas within the oropharynx.


It would seem possible according to some recent studies that the incidence of (3) may be higher than previously suspected.


Further Reading.


P M Dixon: A review of the role of the epiglottis in equine upper airway obstruction.

Equine Vet. Educ. 1995:7: 131-139.


Ahern T J: A review of the anatomical components, and the process of entrapment of the epiglottis in the horse, with a comparative synopsis of surgical treatments. J of Eq Vet Sci 1996;16: 408-414.