Clinical examination, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cytology, acute-phase protein, and pulmonary hemostasis and fibrinolysis marker (fibrinogen, serum amyloid A [SAA], and D-dimer) results were compared between control and respiratory disease-affected horses. Using a clinical scoring system, horses (n = 58) were classified as respiratory disease-free (Controls, n = 15) or with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO; n = 18), inflammatory airway disease (n = 14) or chronic interstitial pneumopathy (n = 11). There were no significant differences in fibrinogen concentrations among groups, but there was a trend toward a lower value in controls (median 0.0024 g/L) than in horses with chronic pneumopathies (median 0.0052 g/L), in particular, those with RAO (median 0.0062 g/L). Fibrinogen concentration was positively correlated with percentage of neutrophils in BALF (rs = 0.377, p = 0.004). SAA concentrations were low; 65.5% of samples were below the detection limit. D-dimer concentrations were also low and quantifiable concentrations were only obtained after ultrafiltration and only in RAO (median 0.1 mg/L). In conclusion, there was limited evidence of increased coagulatory activity in chronic pneumopathies, apart from RAO. It is uncertain whether fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations increased due to their role as acute-phase proteins or as a misbalance of coagulation and fibrinolysis.
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