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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1990 Feb 1;196(3):465-7.

Hepatocellular carcinoma associated with erythrocytosis and hypoglycemia in a yearling filly.

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Section of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square 19348.


A yearling Arabian-type filly with a history of poor growth, erythrocytosis, hypoglycemia, and high liver enzyme activities was admitted to the hospital for evaluation. Three days after admission, the filly collapsed, deteriorated rapidly despite treatment, and was euthanatized. A metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma with capsular rupture and hemoperitoneum were found at necropsy. Primary liver tumors are rare in horses, and hepatocellular carcinoma has been reported in only 1 other horse. The systemic manifestations of the tumor in this filly included weakness, weight loss, inappetence, erythrocytosis with tumor production of erythropoietin, persistent hypoglycemia with normal serum insulin concentrations, serum alpha-fetoprotein (normally present only during fetal life), and terminal massive hemoperitoneum, all features of the syndrome in man.

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