Metastatic Hemangiosarcoma in a Cow

Gabriela Oliveira Pereira, Nathalia da Silva Carvalho, Paula Dias Retamero, Maria Correia Oliveira, Cintia de Lorenzo, Marilene de Farias Brito, Daniel Guimarães Ubiali


Background: Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant mesenchymal neoplasm of endothelial cells that mainly affects dogs and is less common in horses, cattle, goats, pigs, and sheep. In ruminants, however, few cases of hemangiosarcoma have been reported. Although this neoplasm may primarily occur in any tissue, it most often originates in the spleen, liver, heart, and skin. This study reports the clinical and pathological findings of a bovine hemangiosarcoma.
Case: A 10-year-old lactating Girolando cow from the municipality of Vassouras/RJ was examinated because of uncontrolled cough and bilateral hemoptysis, loss of appetite, fever, weight loss, severe decline in milk production (a decrease of 28 L), and respiratory wheezing during chest auscultation. We performed a necropsy and collected fragments of various organs which were fixed using 10% buffered formalin and sent to the Pathology Anatomy Sector (SAP) of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) for routine histological assessment. Macroscopically, large hemorrhagic areas were observed in the lungs, mainly in the cranioventral portion of the pulmonary lobes, multifocal areas of hemorrhages in the liver, and a 10x8x5 cm soft red mass was observed in the spleen. Microscopically, was observed lung proliferation of endothelial cells
arranged in tapes, supported by a collagenous stroma associated with severe multifocal lobular hemorrhage with a large number of siderophages and diffuse and marked edema, and congestion. In the mediastinal lymph node, liver, and spleen, the proliferation of neoplastic endothelial cells equivalent to those described in the lungs was observed. The histological
sections of liver and tumor spleen were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis for von Willebrand factor, in which marking was observed in neoplastic endothelial cells.
Discussion: Previously, neoplasms in Brazilian cattle have been presented as case reports or, more recently, as scarce retrospective studies, signifying that hemangiosarcoma is a rare neoplasm in the bovine species. Among several studies, we highlight the one conducted in Rio Grande do Sul with neoplastic lesions found in bovine slaughterhouses, in which only
one case of hemangiosarcoma was observed in 1.5% (1 of 65) cattle. In addition, similarities were also noted in a study of neoplastic lesions in bovine slaughterhouses in Canada, in which hemangiosarcoma was diagnosed in 0.3% (4 of 1370) cattle. In the present study, the positive immunostaining of neoplastic endothelial cells was easily identified from von Willebrand factor, also called factor VIII, and is similar to other studies described in the literature. In a serie of twelve cases of vascular tumors in domestic animals (dogs, horses and cattle), 100% were positive for von Willebrand factor and served to distinguish tumors of epithelial or histiocytic origin. Although the clinical signs observed in our case are non-specific, hemoptysis was the most intense signal and the only clinical manifestation that may indicate an important pulmonary lesion
that indicated possible pulmonary neoplasm. Among other diseases, the acute form of Pteridium aquilinum poisoning, thrombocytopenia, anticoagulant rodenticide toxicity and vena cava syndrome might cause hemoptysis, and therefore, should be incorporated in the list of differential diagnoses of neoplasm that occur with pulmonary metastasis. Further, neoplastic and or hemorrhagic diseases affecting cattle should be differentiated of hemangiosarcoma.
Keywords: hemangiosarcoma, diseases of cattle, neoplasia.

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