The criteria used to diagnose recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) in affected horses include demonstration of reversible lower airway obstruction and greater than 25% neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Additional objective laboratory tests are needed to improve diagnostic accuracy and to monitor response to treatment. The goal of this study was to determine if neutrophil chemoattractant activity of BALF could be measured by using a previously described, rapid, multiwell colorimetric assay for chemotaxis. In this assay, neutrophils that have migrated through a membrane filter are collected into the bottom well of a disposable chemotaxis-cell migration chamber. The number of viable cells collected in the bottom well is quantified by measurement of the reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenol tetrazolium bromide (MTT), which is reduced by dehydrogenase in mitochondria of live cells. The number of migrating cells corresponds to the amount of MTT reduced, which is measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay plate reader. Fourteen adult horses were enrolled in this study, 7 of which had owner histories consistent with RAO. Each horse was sedated, a bronchoalveolar lavage tube was passed, and saline was infused and immediately aspirated. An aliquot of BALF was used for differential cell count, and BALF supernatant was harvested to assess neutrophil chemoattractant activity. Normal control horses and RAO-affected horses were distinguished according to clinical signs and percent neutrophils in BALF. Neutrophil chemoattractant activity of BALF was significantly greater in RAO-affected horses (P = 0.001) compared with control horses. This assay may be useful in future studies for monitoring response to therapy in RAOaffected horses.