DAO 118:185-194 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02971

Histopathological alterations of the heart in fish: proposal for a standardized assessment

Christoph Steinbach1,*, Hana Kocour Kroupová1, Thomas Wahli2, Jana Klicnarová3, Heike Schmidt-Posthaus

1Research Institute of Fish Culture and Hydrobiology, South Bohemian Research Centre of Aquaculture and Biodiversity of Hydrocenoses, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Zátiší 728/II, 389 25, Vodnˇany, Czech Republic
2Centre for Fish and Wildlife Health, Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology, University of Bern, Länggass-Strasse 122, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia in České Budeˇjovice, Studentská 13, 370 05 České Budeˇjovice, Czech Republic
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Histopathological alterations in the heart are often reported in fish as a result of exposure to a variety of chemical compounds. However, researchers presently lack a standardized method for the evaluation of histopathological alterations in the cardiovascular system of fish and the calculation of an ‘organ index’. Therefore, we designed a method for a standardized assessment and evaluation of histopathological alterations in the heart of fish. As a model species, we used rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, but the protocol was also successfully applied to other fish species belonging to different taxonomic orders. To test the protocol, we re-evaluated sections of atenolol-exposed and unexposed rainbow trout obtained in a previous study. The results were in accordance with those previously published, demonstrating the applicability of the protocol. The protocol provides a universal method for the comparative evaluation of histopathological changes in the heart of fish.


KEY WORDS: Cardiovascular system · Functional unit · Heart index · Histopathology · Ventricle · Valves · Bulbus arteriosus


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Cite this article as: Steinbach C, Kroupova HK, Wahli T, Klicnarová J, Schmidt-Posthaus H (2016) Histopathological alterations of the heart in fish: proposal for a standardized assessment. Dis Aquat Org 118:185-194. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02971

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