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J Wildl Dis. 1999 Jul;35(3):565-8.

Hepatic carcinoma with spleen metastasis in a California sea lion from the Gulf of California.

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Departamento de Etología, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.


A primary hepatic carcinoma with a neuroendocrine pattern was detected in an adult female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) found dead on Granito Island in the Gulf of California (Mexico) in January 1996. At necropsy, several light yellow nodules of different sizes were observed on the entire surface of the liver and spleen. Microscopic examination of these nodules using routine haematoxylin-eosin stain, revealed cubic, polyhedral and pleomorphic cells with three to four bizarre mitotic figures per field (40X). An immunohistochemistry test revealed a positive reaction of indirect immunoperoxide to cytokeratin (CK2). This is the first known case of a primary hepatic carcinoma in free-ranging California sea lions from Mexican waters.

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