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Erythrocytosis and pleural effusion associated with a hepatoblastoma in a Thoroughbred yearling


  • doi: 10.1111/j.1751-0813.2008.00299.x


A 10-month-old Thoroughbred filly was presented with a 2-month history of recurrent fever and pleural effusion. Major clinical findings were pyrexia and congested mucous membranes. Clinical pathology tests revealed an erythrocytosis, hyperfibrinogenaemia and hyperglobulinaemia. Pleural fluid was seen on ultrasonographic examination of the thorax and analysis of a thoracocentesis sample indicated a lymphocytic, modified transudate. A transtracheal aspirate was normal. The erythrocytosis persisted despite IV fluid therapy. Arterial blood gas analysis and bone marrow aspirate were normal. These findings were indicative of secondary inappropriate erythrocytosis. Ultrasonographic examination of the abdomen showed a large encapsulated heterogeneous mass in the left lobe of the liver. Histopathological evaluation of a biopsy of the mass was indicative of a hepatic carcinoma. The filly was euthanased and necropsy confirmed the presence of a hepatic tumour with no evidence of systemic metastasis. Further histopathological evaluation confirmed the tumour to be an embryonal macrotrabecular epithelial-type hepatoblastoma, a type of hepatoblastoma that has not previously been reported in a horse.