Severe Equine Asthma – an overview

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Severe equine asthma (EA) is the newly adopted term which defines the syndromes most recently known as Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO; syn Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Heaves) or Summer Pasture Associated Recurrent Airway Obstruction (SPARAO; syn Summer Pasture Associated Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). The adoption of this new nomenclature recognises the clinical phenotypic overlap amongst various non-infectious diseases of the equine lower airways; most notably between severe EA and mild to moderate EA (previously termed Inflammatory Airway Disease). Compared with mild to moderate EA, there is a greater appreciation of the role of genetics in determining susceptibility to severe EA and a better understanding of aetiological triggers and disease pathogenesis. However, despite the relatively well defined clinical phenotype of severe EA, it is increasingly apparent that a significant degree of heterogeneity exists with respect to the susceptibility determinants and underlying immunological mechanisms which ultimately lead to clinical disease.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2017


  • asthma
  • equine
  • organic dust
  • dyspnoea


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