DAO 72:19-30 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/dao072019

Diagnostic criteria for proliferative hepatic lesions in brown bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus

Vicki S. Blazer1,*, John W. Fournie2, Jeffrey C. Wolf3, Marilyn J. Wolfe3

1National Fish Health Research Laboratory, US Geological Survey, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430, USA
2U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561, USA
3The Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals, 22900 Shaw Road, Suite 107, Sterling, Virginia 20166, USA

ABSTRACT: Brown bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus is used as indicator species for contaminant effects at areas of concern (AOC) in the Great Lakes and other areas. One of the beneficial use impairments at numerous AOC is ‘fish tumors and other deformities’. An impairment occurs when the prevalence of fish tumors and other deformities exceeds those at unimpacted or control sites or when survey data confirm the presence of neoplastic or preneoplastic liver lesions in bullhead or white sucker Catostomus commersonii. Numerous surveys have been conducted over the years assessing neoplasia in these fishes, both liver and skin tumors. However, a major problem in comparing the results has been a lack of consistent criteria for evaluating histological changes in bullhead livers. As individual AOC develop and implement remedial action plans, realistic and attainable delisting targets need to be specified. For this to occur and be consistent from site to site there must be standardization of the criteria being used to evaluate specific impairments. In this report, specific diagnostic criteria are provided for both non-neoplastic and neoplastic proliferative hepatocellular and biliary lesions. These criteria should assist fish pathologists in describing and categorizing proliferative liver lesions from brown bullhead.


KEY WORDS: Brown bullhead · Liver · Neoplasia · Proliferative lesions · Diagnostic criteria


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