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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether metal concentrations in canine liver specimens were influenced by specimen size, assay variability, tissue processing (formalin fixation and deparaffinization), or storage in paraffin blocks.

Sample Population—Liver specimens (fresh frozen and deparaffinized) from 2 dogs with chronic hepatitis (high copper but unremarkable iron concentration [liver 1] and unremarkable copper but high iron concentration [liver 2]) as well as fresh and deparaffinized-archived liver specimens from 20 dogs with various hepatopathies.

Procedures—Fresh frozen liver specimens (obtained via simulated needle-core and wedge biopsy), fresh hepatic tissue, and deparaffinized-archived specimens (0.5 to 14 years old) were analyzed for concentrations of copper, iron, and zinc by atomic absorption flame spectrometry. Clinical severity scores were assigned on the basis of tissue metal concentrations.

Results—Interassay variation of metal standards was < 4%. Measurements of liver tissues on 8 consecutive days yielded high coefficients of variation (3.6% to 50%) reflecting heterogenous histologic metal distribution; variation was highest in liver 1 and deparaffinized-archived tissues. Heterogenous metal distribution was confirmed by histologic evaluation. The largest range of metal concentrations was detected in wedge biopsy specimens. In tissues with high metal concentrations, copper and iron concentrations were significantly lower in needle-core versus wedge biopsy specimens. A higher zinc concentration in deparaffinized-archived specimens masked a low zinc concentration in fresh liver tissue of 10 of 20 (50%) dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Retrospective measurement of copper and iron concentrations but not zinc concentrations in deparaffinized-archived liver specimens provided relevant information. The value of needle-core biopsy specimens for measurement of metal concentrations is questionable.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the accuracy of digitally scanned rhodanine-stained liver biopsy specimens for determination of hepatic copper concentration and compare results with qualitatively assigned histologic copper scores in dogs.

Sample—353 liver biopsy specimens from dogs.

Procedures—Specimens (n = 139) with quantified copper concentration ranging from 93 to 6,900 μg/g were allocated to group 1 (< 400 μg/g [37]), group 2 (401 to 1,000 μg/g [27]), group 3 (1,001 to 2,000 μg/g [34]), and group 4 (> 2,001 μg/g [41]); stained with rhodanine; and digitally scanned and analyzed with a proprietary positive pixel algorithm. Measured versus calculated copper concentrations were compared, and limits of agreement determined. Influence of nodular remodeling, fibrosis, or parenchymal loss on copper concentration was determined by digitally analyzing selected regions in 17 specimens. After method validation, 214 additional liver specimens underwent digital scanning for copper concentration determination. All sections (n = 353) were then independently scored by 2 naive evaluators with a qualitative scoring schema. Agreement between assigned scores and between assigned scores and tissue copper concentrations was determined.

Results—Linear regression was used to develop a formula for calculating hepatic copper concentration ≥ 400 μg/g from scanned sections. Copper concentrations in unremodeled specimens were significantly higher than in remodeled specimens. Qualitative scores widely overlapped among quantitative copper concentration groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Calculated copper concentrations determined by means of digital scanning of rhodanine-stained liver sections were highly correlated with measured values and more accurate than qualitative copper scores, which should improve diagnostic usefulness of hepatic copper concentrations and assessments in sequential biopsy specimens.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

A 12-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair cat with chronic anterior uveitis and secondary glaucoma of the right eye was examined for persistent blepharospasm 2 weeks after corneal debridement and grid keratotomy for nonhealing superficial ulcerative keratitis.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Examination of the right eye revealed a central superficial corneal ulcer associated with corneal epithelial and subepithelial infiltrates and mild aqueous flare. Structures consistent with amoeboid cysts and trophozoites were detected in the cornea by in vivo confocal microscopy. Suppurative keratitis was identified cytologically. An Acanthamoeba spp was isolated through culture and identified by a PCR assay of corneal specimens.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

Symptomatic and antiamoebic (polyhexamethylene biguanide 0.02% ophthalmic solution) treatments were instituted. Over the following 6 weeks, the cat lost vision in the affected eye and lesions progressed to nonulcerative stromal keratitis associated with a dense paracentral corneal stroma ring infiltrate and anterior lens luxation. The globe was enucleated, and lymphoplasmacytic sclerokeratitis, anterior uveitis, and retinal detachment were noted. Acanthamoeba organisms were detected within the corneal stroma and anterior sclera with histologic and immunohistochemical stains. The amoebae were classified to the Acanthamoeba T4 genotype by DNA sequencing. The cat had no medical problems attributed to Acanthamoeba infection over 36 months after enucleation, until the cat was lost to follow-up.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Naturally acquired Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis is described in a cat for the first time. Acanthamoeba infection should be considered for cats with superficial corneal disease refractory to appropriate treatments and especially occurring after ocular trauma, including keratotomy.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To establish reference limits for hepatic bile duct-to-arteriole ratio (BD:A) and bile duct-to-portal tract ratio (BD:PT) in healthy cats and assess whether these parameters could be used to support a diagnosis of biliary ductopenia in cats.

SAMPLE Hepatic biopsy samples from healthy cats (n = 20) and cats with ductopenia (2).

PROCEDURES Hepatic biopsy samples from healthy cats were used to count the number of bile ducts and hepatic arterioles in 20 portal tracts for each cat. Mean BD:A and mean BD:PT for each cat were calculated, and these values were used to determine reference limits for mean BD:A and mean BD:PT. Results of histologic evaluation, including immunohistochemical staining in some instances, were compared for healthy cats versus cats with ductopenia.

RESULTS Of the 400 portal tracts from healthy cats, 382 (95.5%) and 396 (99.0%) had BD:A and BD:PT, respectively, ≥ 1.0, with less variability in BD:A. Mean BD:A and BD:PT were markedly lower in both cats with ductopenia, compared with values for healthy cats. However, only mean BD:A for cats with ductopenia was below the reference limit of 0.59.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that systematic evaluation of BD:A, with a lower reference limit of 0.59 to define biliary ductopenia in cats, may be a discrete and easily applied morphometric tool to enhance detection of ductopenia in cats. However, application of this ratio required evaluation of ≥ 20 portal tracts with cross-sectioned portal elements to determine a mean BD:A value.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the frequency and type of bacterial infection by culture- and immunohistochemical (IHC)-based methods and determine the impact of infection on clinical features and survival time in cats with suppurative cholangitis-cholangiohepatitis syndrome (S-CCHS).

ANIMALS

168 client-owned cats with S-CCHS (cases).

PROCEDURES

Clinical features, bacterial culture results, culture-inoculate sources, and survival details were recorded. Cases were subcategorized by comorbidity (extrahepatic bile duct obstruction, cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, ductal plate malformation, biopsy-confirmed inflammatory bowel disease, and biopsy-confirmed pancreatitis) or treatment by cholecystectomy or cholecystoenterostomy. Culture results, bacterial isolates, Gram-stain characteristics, and IHC staining were compared among comorbidities. Lipoteichoic acid IHC staining detected gram-positive bacterial cell wall components, and toll-like receptor expression IHC reflected pathologic endotoxin (gram-negative bacteria) exposure.

RESULTS

Clinical features were similar among cases except for more frequent abdominal pain and lethargy in cats with positive culture results and pyrexia, abdominal pain, and hepatomegaly for cats with polymicrobial infections. Bacteria were cultured in 93 of 135 (69%) cats, with common isolates including Enterococcus spp and Escherichia coli. IHC staining was positive in 142 of 151 (94%) cats (lipoteichoic acid, 107/142 [75%]; toll-like receptor 4, 99/142 [70%]). With in-parallel interpretation of culture and IHC-based bacterial detection, 154 of 166 (93%) cats had bacterial infections (gram-positive, 118/154 [77%]; gram-negative, 111/154 [72%]; polymicrobial, 79/154 [51%]). Greater frequency of bacterial isolation occurred with combined tissue, bile, and crushed cholelith inoculates. Infection and gram-positive bacterial isolates were associated with significantly shorter long-term survival times.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

S-CCHS was associated with bacterial infection, pathologic endotoxin exposure, and frequent polymicrobial infection in cats. Combined tissue inoculates improved culture detection of associated bacteria.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate differences in hepatic copper concentrations in Labrador Retrievers with and without chronic hepatitis.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Sample—Liver tissue specimens from 36 Labrador Retrievers with chronic hepatitis and 36 age- and sex-matched Labrador Retrievers without chronic hepatitis (control dogs).

Procedures—Liver tissue specimens were obtained during 2 study periods (1980 to 1997 and 1998 to 2010). For each tissue specimen, a histologic score was assigned independently by each of 2 interpreters, and the hepatic copper concentration was qualitatively determined via rhodanine staining and quantitatively determined via atomic absorption spectroscopy.

Results—Mean hepatic copper concentration was significantly higher in dogs with chronic hepatitis (614 μg/g of dry weight [range, 104 to 4,234 μg/g of dry weight]), compared with that in control dogs (299 μg/g of dry weight [range, 93 to 3,810 μg/g of dry weight]), and increased significantly over time. A higher proportion of liver tissue specimens collected during the 1998–2010 study period had hepatic copper concentrations > 400 μg/g of dry weight (the upper limit of the reference range), compared with the proportion of liver tissue specimens collected during the 1980–1997 study period. The qualitative copper score did not accurately predict quantitative hepatic copper concentration in 33% of study dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the increase in hepatic copper concentrations in Labrador Retrievers with and without chronic hepatitis over time may be the result of increased exposure of dogs to environmental copper, most likely via the diet.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine whether proximal sesamoid bone (PSB) articular cartilage and bone osteoarthritic changes or palmar osteochondral disease (POD) scores were associated with exercise history and catastrophic PSB fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses.

SAMPLE

PSBs from 16 Thoroughbred racehorses (8 with and 8 without PSB fracture).

PROCEDURES

Exercise history was collected, and total career high-speed furlongs was used as the measure of total exercise per horse. At necropsy, medial and lateral condyles of the third metacarpus from each forelimb were assigned a POD score, followed by imaging with micro-CT for evaluation of osteophyte size. Three investigators that were blinded to the type of PSB (fracture or no fracture) used the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) scoring system to evaluate acellularity, chondrocyte necrosis, cartilage fibrillation, chondrone formation, safranin O stain uptake, and tidemark advancement of 1 central sagittal tissue section/PSB (4 PSBs/horse). Cartilage thickness and bone necrosis were scored on the basis of histologic examination.

RESULTS

POD score, osteophyte size score, percentage of bone necrosis, tidemark advancement, chondrone formation, and total OARSI score were greater in horses with more accrued total career high-speed furlongs. Scores for POD, osteophyte size, fibrillation, acellularity, chondrone formation, and total OARSI were greater for horses with PSB fracture.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

OARSI scoring revealed that more advanced osteoarthritic changes strongly correlated with total career high-speed furlongs and PSB fracture. However, the effect of exercise was dominant, suggesting that exercise history will be important to include in future models that aim to assess risk factors for catastrophic PSB fracture.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate clinical features and outcome of dogs with a confirmed spinal cord nephroblastoma and to describe the use of Wilms tumor-1 (WT-1) immunohistochemical staining to confirm a diagnosis of nephroblastoma in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—11 dogs with a spinal cord nephroblastoma.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs with a spinal cord nephroblastoma were reviewed. Information extracted included signalment, history, clinical signs, results of diagnostic testing, tumor location, treatment, and outcome. The diagnosis was confirmed through histologic review and WT-1 immunohistochemical staining of a tumor sample. In dogs with negative results for staining with WT-1, staining for cytokeratin, vimentin, and glial fibrillar acidic protein was performed.

Results—11 dogs had a spinal cord tumor with a histologic appearance and immunohistochemical staining consistent with a nephroblastoma. Positive results for staining with WT-1 were detected in 9 of 11 dogs. Age at admission ranged from 5 to 48 months (median, 14 months). Nine dogs were female. All had progressive paraparesis, paraplegia, or ataxia. Duration of clinical signs ranged from 2 to 60 days (median, 14 days). Median survival time was 30 days from the time of diagnosis. Median survival time in dogs treated via surgical resection was 70.5 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The prognosis for dogs with a spinal cord nephroblastoma appeared to be poor, although combined surgical resection and radiation therapy may provide a good functional outcome. Results for staining with WT-1 can be used to support a diagnosis of nephroblastoma.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association