Histopathologic features, environmental factors, and serum estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin values associated with ovarian phase and inflammatory uterine disease in cats

Dennis F. Lawler From the departments of Pet Nutrition Research (Lawler) and Statistical Services (Monti), Ralston Purina Co, St Louis, MO 63164; Evans Pathology Services, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (Evans); Diagnostic Laboratory, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Reimers); and Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849 (Colby).

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Richard H. Evans From the departments of Pet Nutrition Research (Lawler) and Statistical Services (Monti), Ralston Purina Co, St Louis, MO 63164; Evans Pathology Services, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (Evans); Diagnostic Laboratory, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Reimers); and Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849 (Colby).

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Thomas J. Reimers From the departments of Pet Nutrition Research (Lawler) and Statistical Services (Monti), Ralston Purina Co, St Louis, MO 63164; Evans Pathology Services, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (Evans); Diagnostic Laboratory, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Reimers); and Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849 (Colby).

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Emerson D. Colby From the departments of Pet Nutrition Research (Lawler) and Statistical Services (Monti), Ralston Purina Co, St Louis, MO 63164; Evans Pathology Services, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (Evans); Diagnostic Laboratory, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Reimers); and Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849 (Colby).

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Katherine L. Monti From the departments of Pet Nutrition Research (Lawler) and Statistical Services (Monti), Ralston Purina Co, St Louis, MO 63164; Evans Pathology Services, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (Evans); Diagnostic Laboratory, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Reimers); and Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849 (Colby).

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SUMMARY

Forty-four female American Shorthair cats with inflammatory uterine disease or infertility were evaluated. Data collected included age, month of diagnosis, housing, reproductive history, results of bacteriologic culture of uterine specimens, serum concentrations of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin and histopathologic features of the ovaries and uterus.

Histologically, the ovaries of 19 cats were dominated by active or cystic follicles, whereas 25 cats had luteal-phase ovaries. Of the 25 cats with active corpora lutea, 20 had either recently weaned litters (n = 11) without subsequent exposure to a male cat, or had been housed individually for lengthy periods (n = 9). The finding of active corpora lutea under these circumstances indicates that in queens, ovulation may occur by mechanisms not involving coitus.

Prominent, active corpora lutea on the ovaries were associated with adenomatotic proliferative changes in the superficial and glandular epithelium of the uterus and with myometrial hyperplasia, compared with the uterus of cats with follicular ovaries (P < 0.01).

Serum progesterone concentration ≥ 1.87 ng/ml was consistently associated with luteal-phase ovaries. Serum progesterone values ≤ 0.15 ng/ml were consistently associated with follicular-phase ovaries.

Escherichia coli was the organism most commonly isolated from uterine contents.

SUMMARY

Forty-four female American Shorthair cats with inflammatory uterine disease or infertility were evaluated. Data collected included age, month of diagnosis, housing, reproductive history, results of bacteriologic culture of uterine specimens, serum concentrations of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin and histopathologic features of the ovaries and uterus.

Histologically, the ovaries of 19 cats were dominated by active or cystic follicles, whereas 25 cats had luteal-phase ovaries. Of the 25 cats with active corpora lutea, 20 had either recently weaned litters (n = 11) without subsequent exposure to a male cat, or had been housed individually for lengthy periods (n = 9). The finding of active corpora lutea under these circumstances indicates that in queens, ovulation may occur by mechanisms not involving coitus.

Prominent, active corpora lutea on the ovaries were associated with adenomatotic proliferative changes in the superficial and glandular epithelium of the uterus and with myometrial hyperplasia, compared with the uterus of cats with follicular ovaries (P < 0.01).

Serum progesterone concentration ≥ 1.87 ng/ml was consistently associated with luteal-phase ovaries. Serum progesterone values ≤ 0.15 ng/ml were consistently associated with follicular-phase ovaries.

Escherichia coli was the organism most commonly isolated from uterine contents.

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