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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 138:207-213 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03457

Primary intracranial fibrosarcoma in a southern sea otter Enhydra lutris nereis

Abigail R. Armwood1,*, Chelsea E. Anderson2, Tonya Clauss2, Alvin C. Camus1

1Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Southern sea otters Enhydra lutris nereis, a threatened marine mammal species, face numerous environmental and infectious disease challenges in their native habitat of coastal California, USA. However, there are few published cases describing neoplasia in sea otters despite their relatively long life span when cared for in aquarium settings. An 18 yr old neutered male southern sea otter, born and raised in human care, presented with an acute onset of seizures and dull mentation. Magnetic resonance imaging of the head revealed a large, central brain lesion. After no improvement with treatment, euthanasia was elected due to a poor prognosis. Grossly, a poorly demarcated, granular, tan mass expanded the cranial meninges in the longitudinal fissure at the level of the cruciate sulcus and extended into the underlying gray matter and superficial white matter. Histologically, the mass was composed of spindle cells, forming haphazardly arranged interlacing bundles and herringbone patterns, with a high mitotic count, moderate cellular pleomorphism, and prominent vascularization. Neoplastic cells demonstrated positive immunoreactivity for vimentin and negative immunoreactivity for smooth muscle actin, factor VIII-related antigen, S100, melan-A, E-cadherin, desmin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and cytokeratin AE1/AE3. Based on gross, histologic, and immunohistochemical findings, the mass was most consistent with a primary intracranial fibrosarcoma (PIF). PIFs are a rare neoplasm in both humans and other animals with few reports in the veterinary literature. This is the first recorded case of a PIF in a sea otter.


KEY WORDS: Primary intracranial fibrosarcoma · Southern sea otter · Enhydra lutris nereis · Immunohistochemistry · Brain · Neoplasia


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Cite this article as: Armwood AR, Anderson CE, Clauss T, Camus AC (2020) Primary intracranial fibrosarcoma in a southern sea otter Enhydra lutris nereis. Dis Aquat Org 138:207-213. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03457

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