The BAS study group is a multidisciplinary group of experienced clinicians and clinical researchers at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine with extensive knowledge regarding upper airway disorders in canine patients and an intense research interest in all airway abnormalities, such as NTUAS

The overall goal of our group is to improve the upper airway dynamics in brachycephalic dogs. For this particular study, our goal is to better define the nasal abnormalities in BAS patients and correlate the degree of abnormality with the ability to move air through the nose. We will image patients with BAS using CT (sometimes called CAT scanning), a noninvasive, non-painful way to look inside the nose. We will then perform rhinomanometry on the nose, a non-painful test that passes a small amount of air through the nose to measure the resistance that is encountered. By doing these tests, we hope to better understand the importance of nasal abnormalities with this disease. 

BAS Study Objectives

Objective 1: To document intranasal and oropharyngeal deformities in BAS patients, we will measure and compare the cross-sectional area and volume of selected nasal and oropharyngeal soft tissue structures (including nasal turbinates, soft palate, peripharyngeal fat, tongue, tonsils) between BAS patients and normal mesaticephalic dogs.

Objective 2: To document the overall effect of brachycephalic nasal deformities on airflow, we will compare nasal impedance between brachycephalic and mesaticephalic dogs and correlate these findings with nasal CT images.

BAS Study Group Members

Nathan Nelson, DVM, MS, DACVR
Associate Professor, Diagnostic Imaging
Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Nelson serves as Principal Investigator. He supervises the acquisition of all CT scans and rhinomanometry measurements. He will be responsible for analyzing CT and rhinomanometry data and be responsible for data analysis and involved in manuscript development.

Dr. Bryden J. Stanley, BVMS, MVetSc, DACVS Associate Professor and Section Chief, Surgery Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine 
Dr. Stanley serves as Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director for the Study, thus her team coordinates this effort and maintain liaison with the breed club, owners, and REDCap. She is responsible for performing the upper airway examinations in each MSU subject and will be the primary physician in the subsequent clinical management, medical records, and client relations. She and Dr. Nelson will perform the rhinomanometry measurements in the 25 dogs undergoing rhinomanometry, and will be responsible for data analysis and manuscript preparation. 

Stephan Carey, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (MSU)
Associate Professor, Internal Medicine
Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Carey serves as Collaborator with respect to rhinomanometry interpretation and will provide consultation on data analysis.

Sheilah A. Robertson
Associate Professor, Anesthesia
Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Robertson serves as Collaborator, providing anesthesia support and consulting on all anesthetic events.

Descriptions of BAS Study Tests

History questionnaire – Owners of recruited candidates will fill out a brief questionnaire documenting the clinical signs displayed by their dog. To fulfill the entry criteria, your dog must be a brachycephalic dog who is scheduled for brachycephalic airway study and must not be in acute distress or have other significant comorbid systemic conditions.

Physical examination – A full, complete, and careful physical exam is important to evaluate the level of respiratory compromise at rest and at a short run. It may also help us determine if there are signs of any other condition that would exclude your dog from the study. The physical examination is not painful or distressing to the dog, and takes about 15 minutes.

Laryngeal Endoscopy – Endoscopic examination will be performed by flexible endoscopy (small camera and light source) under anesthesia. The exam lasts about 10 minutes and has very little risk. Our patients are overseen by a board certified anesthesiologist while procedures are being done and into the recovery period. All cases will be recorded to allow subsequent analysis offline. The following structures will be assessed with standardized responses: tongue, hard palate, soft palate, pharynx, nasopharynx, choanae, epiglottis, hyoepiglottis and valleculae, piriform recesses, condition of the laryngeal mucosa, cuneiform processes, corniculate processes, laryngeal saccules, vocal folds, rima glottidis, abduction, adduction, palate sensitivity, larynx sensitivity, subglottic thyroid, subglottic cricoid, trachea, and mainstem bronchi.

CT Scan – The anesthetized dog is positioned for CT. The CT scan provides images of the head and neck in fine “slices” allowing the veterinarian to get a 3-dimensional image of these areas. The scan takes about two minutes and carries minimal risk. The exposure to radiation is very low and the procedure does not cause any discomfort for the participant.

Rhinomanometry – Rhinomanometry is performed directly following CT scan in the selected dogs participating in this portion of the study. Under anesthesia, a small nasal cannula is plugged into the nose. Pressure transducers are placed at the front and back of the nose. Oxygen is introduced through the cannula and any resistance to flow will be determined from the transducer readings. The procedure will not cause any pain or discomfort. Risks are minimal.