Peanut's autopsy pictures

Yet another DIY post mortem...

Mesentery with growth (lymph node?)

Spleen

Right kidney

Right kidney

Right kidney

Left kidney

Left kidney

Growth (lymph node?) from mesentery

Growth (lymph node?) from mesentery

Pancreas

Cystic liver

Cystic liver

Chest cavity & heart

Chest cavity, heart & lungs

Chest cavity, heart & lungs

Chest cavity & left lung

Lungs

Heart

Heart

Heart

Heart

Skin tumour

Nodule under skin

Nodule from under skin



Peanut's histopathlogy report

Post-mortem Tissues from a Ferret: 13 samples received; 13 sections evaluated on 4 slides.

Heart (slide 1). In this sagittal section of the myocardium with a great vessel, myocytes appear uniformly broad and show moderately frequent branching. A large subendocardial wedge of fibrosis, infiltrated by a few plasma cells, partly replaces the ventricular myocardium -- this area of the myocardium also contains several similar but much smaller wedges. There are no other remarkable findings.

Lung (3 sections, slide 3). There is mild, patchy congestion. There are patchy areas of atelectasis alternating with areas of apparently normal alveolar inflation. Rarely, clusters of macrophages laden with black pigment (pneumoconiosis, probably anthracosis) lie adjacent to bronchi. There are no other remarkable findings.

Liver (3 sections, slides 1 and 4). One of the sections (slide 4) shows local replacement of the parenchyma at the apex of the lobe by a mass approximately 8 x 7 mm in cross-section after processing. The mass consists of anastomosing, blood-filled vascular channels, supported by thin-walled collagenous trabeculae that are lined by endothelium. The endothelial cells are usually attenuated but are sometimes plump and very rarely are piled up. Nuclei are round to oval and show moderate anisokaryosis. Mitotic figures are uncommon, approximately 1 per 10 high-power (400x) fields. The mass is generally discrete but shows several foci of peripheral invasiveness into adjacent sinusoids. Throughout the remainder of this section and in the other two sections (slide 1), the hepatocytes have mildly lacy to vacuolated epithelium (lipid, possibly with glycogen, very mildly increased above normal levels) but appear slightly small. Plasma cells sometimes cluster in portal tracts, which rarely show proliferative bile ducts. There are no other remarkable findings.

Adipose Tissue (slide 4). There are no remarkable findings.

Lymph Node (slide 4). The nodal parenchyma is displaced peripherally, and the centre of the node is replaced by a zone of haemorrhage with fibrinous thrombi, some macrophages, some necrotic debris, and a few thin collagenous trabeculae lined by endothelium similar to that described in the liver. There are no other remarkable findings.

Spleen (slide 2). The red pulp shows numerous dense aggregates of mixed haematopoietic precursor cells. There are no other remarkable findings.

Kidney (2 sections, slide 2). The sections are similar. There are multiple radiating wedges of fibrosis that extend from the medulla to the capsular surface of the cortex. These wedges contain moderate numbers of lymphocytes and plasma cell. Entrapped parenchymal elements are generally attenuated, but a few cysts (glomerular or tubular cysts) up to 3 mm in diameter are present in affected areas. Throughout the remaining cortex, approximately 10 % of glomeruli are sclerotic and many other glomeruli show thick and partly collapsed capillary loops. Tubules are often slightly dilated but only occasionally contain proteinaceous fluid. The medullary stroma is multifocally expanded by fibrosis. There are no other remarkable findings.

Haired Skin (slide 4). A well-demarcated, polycystic mass, approximately 5 mm in greatest diameter after processing, expands the subcutis and deep dermis. The mass is lined by bilayered to rarely pseudostratified cuboidal to columnar epithelium, with moderate amounts of eosinophilic to vacuolated cytoplasm that sometimes shows apical blebbing. Nuclei are bland, oval and central. Mitotic figures are extremely rare. There are lesion-free margins in all directions. There are no other remarkable findings. excised this cystadenoma completely, which should be curative.

MORPHOLOGICAL DIAGNOSES:

1. Liver and Lymph Node: Haemangiosarcoma -- presumed metastatic
2. Heart: Myocardial Hypertrophy-- diffuse, moderate, associated with multiple chronic infarcts
3. Lung: Atelectasis -- multifocally extensive
4. Spleen: Extramedullary Haematopoietic Hyperplasia -- marked
5. Kidney: Nephritis -- glomerular and interstitial, chronic, extensive, moderate to marked, with multiple renal cysts
6. Liver: Pericholangitis -- multifocal, chronic, mild to moderate
7. Haired Skin: Apocrine Cystadenoma

COMMENTS:

This ferret had a number of potentially serious lesions. In the liver and in one lymph node, there is haemangiosarcoma: a malignant neoplasm of vascular endothelium. Presumably, the nodal lesion represents a metastasis, possibly from the liver, though it is also possible that both lesions represent metastasis from some unidentified primary site. Primary hepatic haemangiosarcoma has been reported uncommonly in ferrets, and based on the limited available data, exhibits similar behaviour as in other mammals -- that is, the tumour metastasizes widely and aggressively. This tumour would have carried a poor prognosis.

This ferret also had myocardial hypertrophy associated with several old infarcts. Whether the hypertrophy is a compensatory lesion after loss of the myocardium to the infarcts, or whether it is part of a true cardiomyopathy, is undetermined. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is less common than dilatative cardiomyopathy in mature ferrets; however, hypertrophy can be seen as part of the end-stage of both lesions. In the sections of lung and liver provided, there is no evidence for passive congestion (congestive heart failure).

The lung shows extensive areas of atelectasis, but no pneumonia, no infectious agents, and no neoplasia are visible in the sections provided. Possible aetiologies for atelectasis include pneumothorax or compressive coelomic effusion of any cause, trauma, upper airway obstruction, and less commonly for a chronic condition in a mature pet animal, inhaled gases, viral or other infections (not noted) and surfactant defects.

Splenomegaly with extramedullary haematopoiesis is commonly seen in middle-aged to older ferrets, but has been found in ferrets as young as six months of age. The cause is not known, but it has been speculated that the lesions represent one manifestation of a response to chronic inflammatory disease. In this case, potential haemorrhage associated with the haemangiosarcomas, or conceivably, hypoxaemia associated with the cardiac lesion or the pulmonary atelectasis, might have been contributory. Many but not all affected ferrets are anaemic.

This ferret also had chronic interstitial and glomerular nephritis, the latter affecting a significant minority of the glomeruli. Some small cysts in these kidneys most probably represent acquired cysts in foci of renal scarring. The lesions here are sufficiently advanced that there might have been some impairment of renal function.

The liver shows mild pericholangitis, probably a reflection of ascending antigenic stimulation from the anterior intestine. This appears to be a chronic rather than an active lesion. Its significance is questionable.

Finally, the skin contains an apocrine cystadenoma, a benign neoplasm of paratrichial sweat gland origin. Apocrine cystadenomas are quite common in both male and female ferrets. They occur most often around the head, neck and genitalia, where scent glands are prominent, but can arise in any location in the skin. This lesion would have had no clinical importance.