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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI:

    Rare neural crest tumor in teleost species: neuroblastoma in a spotted pike-characin Boulengerella maculata

    Amelia C. Gould, Martin Haulena*, Michael Pawlik, VĂ©ronique LePage, Augustin Mareschal, Michael R. M. Manalang, Heindrich Snyman

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: One Boulengerella maculata (spotted pike-characin), managed in a public display aquarium for seven years, developed a small unilateral pink growth associated with the right nare. The growth eventually extended through both nares after five months. B. maculata are a species of piscivorous fish that rely on visual acuity when hunting prey. The rapidly-growing bilateral tumor would have impeded vision if left untreated. The fish was managed for over 10 mo using only surgical debulking, topical liquid nitrogen, and occasional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications as needed to reduce tumor size and restore sight. Diagnosis proved challenging due to superimposed inflammation, neoplasm cellular inconsistencies, and a lack of proven immunohistochemical stains or other diagnostic stains. Using tumor location and appearance, histopathology, advanced imaging, electron microscopy, special staining, and immunohistochemistry (IHC), the ultimate diagnosis confirmed olfactory neuroblastoma (ONB), or esthesioneuroblastoma. Though long-term prognosis is poor, hunting strategy of the affected species may dictate quality of life as appetite, body condition, and behavior remained largely unchanged in this animal until time of euthanasia.