3 years ago

Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid neutrophilia is associated with the severity of pulmonary lesions during equine asthma exacerbations

M. Bullone, A. Gagné, J.-Pierre Lavoie, P. Hélie, P. Joubert
Background The severe form of equine asthma is associated with pathological changes of the peripheral airways and pulmonary parenchyma that are only partly described. Also, the relationship between these structural alterations and the percentage of neutrophils found within the airway lumen, assessed by bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cytology, remains ill-defined. Objective To examine the histological lesions associated with equine asthma during disease exacerbation and remission, and their relationship with lung function and BALF neutrophilia. Study design Observational retrospective study. Methods Peripheral lung tissues, BALF cytology, and lung function data from 61 horses (22 controls, 24 asthma exacerbations, and 15 asthma remission) were obtained from an equine pulmonary tissue bank. Two pathologists semi-quantitatively assessed histological features, including airway wall inflammation, interstitial fibrosis, mucus cell hyperplasia, mucostasis, peribronchiolar metaplasia, presence of granuloma, and the overall severity of these lesions. Results Mucostasis, mucus cell hyperplasia, peribronchiolar metaplasia, and interstitial fibrosis were associated with the disease exacerbation (p≤0.05), and these changes were all attenuated during remission. Airway wall inflammation was greater in horses with asthma in exacerbation compared to horses with asthma remission and control horses (p≤0.05). Acute (neutrophilic) airway wall inflammation was more frequently detected in asthmatic cases compared to control horses (p<0.0001) and was associated with BALF neutrophilia >5% in control horses (p = 0.002). The degree of bronchiolar inflammation was higher in asthmatic horses in remission stabled and treated pharmacologically compared to those kept on pasture (p = 0.04). Main limitations Samples obtained from a convenient cohort of horses was studied. Conclusions Severely asthmatic horses present parenchymal and peribronchial/peribronchiolar lesions possibly contributing to the obstructive nature of the disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/evj.12806

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