ISSN 2398-2977      

Soft palate: sclerotherapy

pequis
Contributor(s):

Andy Fiske-Jackson


Introduction

  • Dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP)   Soft palate: dorsal displacement  is the most common cause of exercise intolerance amongst racehorses.
  • Instability of the soft palate and full displacement during exercise causes an expiratory obstruction resulting in poor performance   Poor performance: overview  and abnormal upper respiratory tract noise.
  • Displacement during exercise has been attributed to flaccidity of the soft palate due to neuromuscular dysfunction.

Uses

  • One of several possible treatments for DDSP.
  • Injecting a sclerosing agent into the submucosal layer of the soft palate is intended to induce fibrosis although this has recently been questioned.
  • Increased stiffness of the soft palate is proposed to counteract flaccidity which contributes to palatal instability.

Advantages

  • Quick, inexpensive and relatively easy to perform.
  • Minimal complications.

Disadvantages

  • No significant differences in stiffness, tensile stress or tensile strain were evident biomechanically following soft palate sclerotherapy.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • One study reported 65% of treated horses showed a reduction in time to run the last 400 m of races compared to pre-treatment.
  • In another study, subjective evaluation found a reduction in respiratory noise in 7/8 (87.5%) juvenile Standardbred racehorses.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jean D et al (2011) Palatal sclerotherapy for the treatment of intermittent dorsal displacement of the soft palate in 51 standardbred racehorses. Can Vet J 52 (11), 1203-1208 PubMed.
  • Munoz J A et al (2010) Histological and biochemical effects of palatal sclerotherapy in the horse using sodium tetradecyl sulfate. Vet J 183 (3), 316-321 PubMed.
  • Cehak A et al (2006) Transendoscopic injection of poly-1-lactic acid into the soft palate in horses: A new therapy for dorsal displacement of the soft palate? J Equine Vet Sci 26 (2), 59-66 J-EVS.

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