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Excisional biopsy and radiotherapy for management of an olfactory neuroblastoma in an axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

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  • 1 Exotic Pets Department, My Exotic Vet SRL, Clinique Vétérinaire Brasseur, Manage, Belgium
  • | 2 Vet Diagnostics, Charbonnières-les-Bains, France
  • | 3 Department of Radiotherapy, Oncovet Veterinary Clinic, Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

A 4-year-old sexually intact male leucistic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) was presented with a 2-week history of dysrexia and difficulty swallowing.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Physical examination revealed a 1-cm-diameter intraoral mass on the rostral aspect of the palate and swelling of the left nasal fossa. Local invasion into the left nasal fossa was suspected during oral examination. The lesion was marginally excised, and an incompletely excised olfactory neuroblastoma was diagnosed histologically. Five weeks later, physical examination revealed persistent erythema, delayed healing of the rostral portion of the palate, and a mild facial deformity associated with a white mass in the nasal cavity.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

6 weeks after excision, adjuvant electron (6-MeV) beam radiotherapy was initiated for treatment of the incompletely excised olfactory neuroblastoma and likely presence of a recurrent mass. The protocol consisted of 4 weekly fractions of 8 Gy each (total, 32 Gy) with the axolotl under anesthesia. No acute adverse radiation effects were noted following radiotherapy. The oral erythema resolved after the third session. No recurrence was observed 2 months after treatment, and the owners reported no abnormal signs at home. The axolotl died 3.5 months after radiotherapy was completed (8 months after marginal excision of the tumor) secondary to an environmental management failure. Postmortem histologic evaluation showed no evidence of neoplasia.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

In axolotls, olfactory neuroblastoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of intraoral palatal masses. This report describes the first application of radiotherapy for treatment of an olfactory neuroblastoma in an axolotl.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

A 4-year-old sexually intact male leucistic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) was presented with a 2-week history of dysrexia and difficulty swallowing.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Physical examination revealed a 1-cm-diameter intraoral mass on the rostral aspect of the palate and swelling of the left nasal fossa. Local invasion into the left nasal fossa was suspected during oral examination. The lesion was marginally excised, and an incompletely excised olfactory neuroblastoma was diagnosed histologically. Five weeks later, physical examination revealed persistent erythema, delayed healing of the rostral portion of the palate, and a mild facial deformity associated with a white mass in the nasal cavity.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

6 weeks after excision, adjuvant electron (6-MeV) beam radiotherapy was initiated for treatment of the incompletely excised olfactory neuroblastoma and likely presence of a recurrent mass. The protocol consisted of 4 weekly fractions of 8 Gy each (total, 32 Gy) with the axolotl under anesthesia. No acute adverse radiation effects were noted following radiotherapy. The oral erythema resolved after the third session. No recurrence was observed 2 months after treatment, and the owners reported no abnormal signs at home. The axolotl died 3.5 months after radiotherapy was completed (8 months after marginal excision of the tumor) secondary to an environmental management failure. Postmortem histologic evaluation showed no evidence of neoplasia.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

In axolotls, olfactory neuroblastoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of intraoral palatal masses. This report describes the first application of radiotherapy for treatment of an olfactory neuroblastoma in an axolotl.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Modesto (florent.modesto@gmail.com)