DAO 127:71-74 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03186

NOTE
Hepatic lipomas and myelolipomas in subsistence-harvested bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus, Alaska (USA): a case review 1980-2016

Raphaela Stimmelmayr1,2,*, David Rotstein3, Mauricio Seguel4, Nicole Gottdenker4

1North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, Barrow, Alaska 99723, USA
2Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-70, USA
3Marine Mammal Pathology Services, Olney, Maryland 20832, USA
4Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We describe a case series of benign hepatic fatty tumors in 10 subsistence-harvested bowhead whales. Microscopic features included lipomatous and myelolipomatous masses. Extensive atrophy and/or destruction of hepatic parenchyma was not observed. No other significant disease was present except in an animal with unrelated chronic pleuritis. Based on our longitudinal case series (1980-2016) which identified 1-2 hepatic lipomas and myelolipomas in landed whales annually at Barrow, Alaska (USA), since 2012, hepatic lipomas and myelolipomas are occasionally seen in hunter-harvested bowhead whales. A conservative estimate for the percentage of bowhead whales with hepatic fatty tumors in landed whales in Barrow from 2012 to 2016 was 6% (7/111). The pathogenesis and exact cell origin of these benign fatty tumors in bowhead whales is undetermined. Assessment of further cases is warranted to better define the tissue distribution and pathogenesis of these tumors in bowhead whale liver.


KEY WORDS: Aboriginal whaling · Alaska · Balaena mysticetus · Bowhead whale · Hepatic lipoma · Hepatic myelolipoma


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Cite this article as: Stimmelmayr R, Rotstein D, Seguel M, Gottdenker N (2017) Hepatic lipomas and myelolipomas in subsistence-harvested bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus, Alaska (USA): a case review 1980-2016. Dis Aquat Org 127:71-74. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03186

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