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Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage Research

The Foundation has designated of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) research as a fundraising priority.

EIPH refers to the presence of blood in the airways of a horse’s lung during exercise. The condition is commonly reported in racehorses but can occur in any horse during strenuous exercise. Up to 68% of Thoroughbred racehorses have evidence of blood in their trachea post-exercise, with 36% of these horses experiencing moderate to severe EIPH (grades 2-4) after any given race (Morley et al. 2015).  Horses with a grade 2 score or higher have significantly decreased athletic performance.

As part of its strategic focus on EIPH research, the AAEP Foundation will continue its collaboration with the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation (GJCRF).  In 2015, GJCRF launched the funding of two projects aimed at in-depth investigation of the pathophysiology of EIPH and the effect of the medication furosemide on the condition. The AAEP Foundation, along with other racing industry groups, helped fund these projects and will continue to support EIPH research when possible.

The AAEP’s commitment to finding new, efficacious management strategies for EIPH is one prong of the AAEP’s Prescription for Racing Reform, a 10-point plan designed to both protect the health of racing’s equine athletes and strengthen the integrity of the sport.

The AAEP Foundation hosted a research panel in November 2015 to investigate alternative EIPH management strategies which would not require race-day medication administration. The panel, which included experts in the fields of equine EIPH, pulmonary and cardiac physiology, lung pathology and human sports medicine, focused on a review of current scientific knowledge and identification of future research. View the EIPH panel report here.


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