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January 7, 2003

Purdue horse specialist performs first of its kind procedure

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Laurent Couetil, a horse specialist at Purdue University, conducts a follow-up appointment on Magnificent, a competing miniature horse that received the first equine intratracheal stent. The horse's trachea collapsed in November, and Couetil performed this first of its kind equine procedure on Nov. 22 at Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine Large Animal Hospital.

The horse was referred by a veterinarian in Ft. Wayne, Ind., because it was having difficulty breathing. Magnificent's trachea collapsed from 17 millimeters to 2 millimeters, and the traditional surgical procedure was determined not possible due to difficulty in the approach and risk of complications. Couetil consulted a Lafayette pulmonologist while investigating other minimally invasive procedures. It was decided to use an endoscope to insert a tiny stent. After insertion, the stent opens and expands the trachea. Because Magnificent's tracheal measurements were comparable to a human's, Couetil selected a Boston Scientific stent designed for use in human procedures. The stent is made of nitinol, an alloy of nickel and titanium.

At the Jan. 3, follow up appointment, radiographs revealed that the diameter of Magnificent's trachea increased by 80 percent.

(Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at


Related Web site:
Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine


Source: Laurent Couetil, (765) 494-6808,

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,