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Theriogenology. 2005 Jul 1;64(1):12-29. Epub 2005 Jan 24.

Hysterographic appearance and uterine histology at different stages of the reproductive cycle and after progestagen treatment in the domestic cat.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala SE-75007, Sweden.

Abstract

The aims of this study were to characterize the hysterographic and histological features of the uteri and to perform immunohistochemistry with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in the cat endometrium at various stages of the reproductive cycle and after treatment with exogenous progestagen. Seventy-four female domestic cats submitted for routine ovariohysterectomy were categorized into six groups: inactive (n=20), follicular (n=9), luteal (n=18), and postpartum (n=12) stages of the reproductive cycle; cats given medroxyprogesterone acetate for estrus prevention (MPA group) (n=12); and cats with uterine pathological lesions (n=3). Hysterography was performed and the relation of the uterine and luminal shape in the hysterogram with the stage of the reproductive cycle as well as with any pathological conditions of the uterus was evaluated. The uteri and ovaries were thereafter surgically removed and sectioned for histological examination. The PCNA was used to demonstrate the expression of endometrial epithelial cell growth. The hysterographic appearance was found to differ between the six groups of cats. A straight uterine cavity was characteristic for cats in the inactive stage, whereas a wavy uterine cavity was characteristic for cats in the follicular stage. In the luteal stage, the luminal cavity of the uteri differed in shape with increasing progesterone concentration from straight to irregular wavy or coiled. The coil shaped uterine lumen seen in the MPA treated and pathological groups was considered also to be an expression of a progestagenic effect. Waviness and coiling of the uterine lumen was related to a proliferation of the endometrial glands, whereas irregular filling defects were indicative of endometrial cystic changes. This study is the first to demonstrate the expression of PCNA in the cat endometrium although no differences were found between the six groups of cats. The hysterographic appearance was found to differ according to stage of the reproductive cycle and pathological conditions. Thus, a normative hysterogram is now available for diagnosing the reproductive stage and uterine changes in cats developing endometrial hyperplasia with and without cystic changes.

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