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Vet Pathol. 2013 Mar;50(2):334-42. doi: 10.1177/0300985812447828. Epub 2012 Jun 11.

Morphological and immunohistochemical characterization of spontaneous thyroid gland neoplasms in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus).

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  • 1Animal Emergency Center and Specialty Services, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.


Reports of thyroid gland neoplasms in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) are rare, but thyroid tumors are among the most common neoplasms seen in cases submitted to Northwest ZooPath. This report describes the histological and immunohistochemical characteristics of thyroid neoplasms and lists the concurrent conditions found in guinea pig cases submitted to Northwest ZooPath during 1998 to 2008. Of 526 guinea pig case submissions, 19 had thyroid neoplasms. The most common clinical findings included a palpable mass on the ventral neck and progressive weight loss. Neoplasms were removed as an excisional biopsy from 7 guinea pigs, and 3 of these animals died within a few days after surgery. Radiographic mineral density was detected in 2 masses. Five of the neoplasms were reported as cystic; 5 were black or a dark color. Histologically, the neoplasms were classified as macrofollicular thyroid adenoma (8), thyroid cystadenoma (1), papillary thyroid adenoma (3), follicular thyroid carcinoma (5), follicular-compact thyroid carcinoma (1), and small-cell thyroid carcinoma (1). Osseous metaplasia was present in 8 neoplasms, and myeloid hyperplasia was present in 1 neoplasm. All 19 neoplasms were positive for thyroid transcription factor 1 and thyroglobulin but negative for parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. Numerous concurrent diseases, including hepatopathies, cardiomyopathies, and nephropathies, were present and considered to be the cause of death in many cases. Research is needed to determine the appropriate modalities for antemortem diagnosis and treatment and whether thyroid disease plays a role in the pathogenesis of chronic degenerative diseases in guinea pigs.

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