Laser surgery as a treatment for histologically confirmed sarcoids in the horse

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Reasons for performing study:

Laser resection for the treatment of sarcoids is an established part of equine practice; however, few studies have provided long-term follow-up results. Additionally, many previous reports have evaluated several treatments concurrently or have not been able to provide a definitive histological diagnosis of sarcoid.


To establish the success rate following laser resection as a sole treatment for histologically confirmed sarcoids and evaluate risk factors for recurrence.

Study design:

Retrospective time-to-event analysis.


Horses included had laser surgery to remove at least one sarcoid between 1 July 2005 and 1 September 2012. No previous known/concurrent veterinary treatment was administered. Diagnosis was confirmed by histology in all cases. Clinical data were retrieved from the hospital database. Follow-up information was obtained by telephone questionnaire.


Ninety-nine horses, with a total of 235 sarcoids, were included in the analysis; 82 (83%) had no recurrence of the sarcoid removed and 71 (72%) had no occurrence of any sarcoids following surgery. Horses with sarcoids on the head and neck and those with verrucose sarcoids were at increased risk of recurrence (hazard ratios of 1.61 and 4.03, and 95% confidence intervals of 1.02–2.56 and 1.11–14.7, respectively).


Laser resection of sarcoids in the horse has a positive post operative prognosis. Further work is required to fully evaluate risk factors for recurrence fully.

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