Transit of micro-bubbles through the pulmonary circulation of Thoroughbred horses during exercise
La Gerche, A, Daffy, JR, Mooney, DJ, Forbes, G & Davie, AJ 2013, 'Transit of micro-bubbles through the pulmonary circulation of Thoroughbred horses during exercise', Research in Veterinary Science, vol. 95, no. 2, pp. 644-647.
Published version available from:
It has been observed that microbubbles may pass through the pulmonary circulation of dogs and humans during exercise. In humans, this phenomenon has been associated with lower pulmonary artery pressures, enhanced right ventricular function and greater exercise capacity. In the exercising Thoroughbred horse, extraordinarily high cardiac outputs exert significant pulmonary vascular stresses. The aim of this study was to determine, using contrast echocardiography, whether Thoroughbred horses performing strenuous exercise developed pulmonary transit of agitated contrast microbubbles (PTAC). At rest, agitated contrast was observed in the right ventricle, but not in the left ventricle. However, post-exercise microbubbles were observed in the left ventricle, confirming the occurrence of PTAC with exercise but not at rest. Further investigation is warranted to investigate whether this phenomenon may be associated with superior physiology and performance measures as has been implicated in other species.