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Vet Pathol. 2011 Mar;48(2):451-5. doi: 10.1177/0300985810375242. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Gelatinous marrow transformation and hematopoietic atrophy in a miniature horse stallion.

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University of Guelph, Department of Pathobiology, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Gelatinous marrow transformation, or serous atrophy of bone marrow fat, has been noted in livestock, laboratory animals, and wildlife in association with an inadequate plane of nutrition, inanition, or intoxication. This is a report of gelatinous marrow transformation and hematopoietic marrow atrophy in a 5-year-old miniature horse stallion. The horse had oral malformations leading to poor food assimilation and emaciation. A bone marrow biopsy obtained to investigate persistent anemia and leukopenia showed hematopoietic atrophy and replacement of fat with a granular extracellular substance, which stained with alcian blue, consistent with acidic mucopolysaccharide content. Surgical correction of the dental abnormalities resulted in improved food assimilation, weight gain, and resolution of cytopenias. In humans, gelatinous bone marrow transformation and hematopoietic atrophy are commonly associated with malnutrition from anorexia nervosa and other causes. The cause of hematopoietic atrophy is unknown but may relate to a nonsupportive marrow microenvironment and inadequate hematopoietic substrate availability. Similar pathogenic mechanisms were suspected in this horse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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