Thoracic radiographic features of silicosis in 19 horses.

C. R. Berry, T. R. O'Brien, John E Madigan, D. A. Hager

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41 Scopus citations


Clinical records and thoracic radiographs of 19 horses with a confirmed pathologic diagnosis of silicosis were reviewed. These horses had histories of varying degrees of chronic weight loss, exercise intolerance, and respiratory distress. At the time of presentation, two horses were asymptomatic. Ten horses were geldings and nine were female. The mean age of the 19 horses was 10.7 +/- 5.5 years. Fourteen horses were identified as being from the Monterey-Carmel Peninsula of midcoastal California. An abnormal, structured interstitial pulmonary pattern was identified on thoracic radiographs in each horse. The interstitial pulmonary changes were classified as miliary (13 horses), reticulonodular (4), or linear interstitial (2), and were best visualized dorsally and caudodorsally. In addition to the abnormal interstitial pulmonary pattern, areas of pulmonary consolidation were evident caudodorsally in seven horses. Other thoracic radiographic features included: hilar lymphadenopathy (4 horses), pleural effusion/thickening (4), cranial mediastinal lymphadenopathy (2), hyperinflation (1), and a discrete pulmonary mass (1). Necropsy findings in eight horses and results of lung biopsies in an additional five horses showed a diffuse, multifocal, granulomatous pneumonia with areas of pulmonary fibrosis. Cellular infiltrates included predominantly macrophages with intracellular and/or extracellular crystalline material, occasional lymphocytes, and giant cells. Similar cellular changes were also identified, during necropsy, in the hilar and tracheobronchial lymph nodes in each of the eight horses, although gross enlargement of the lymph nodes was present in only six horses. The radiographic and pathologic findings of these 19 horses are consistent with chronic or the accelerated forms of silicosis that are recognized in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-256
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine / American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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