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Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0100-736XOn-line version ISSN 1678-5150


RECH, Raquel R. et al. Histomorphology of the Gasserian ganglion, carotid rete mirabile and pituitary gland in cattle: a study of 199 cases. Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.2, pp.105-111. ISSN 0100-736X.

The complex of heterogenous tissues formed by the Gasserian ganglia, carotid rete mirabile and pituitary gland (GRH) from 199 cattle were grossly and histologically evaluated. Twenty one of the GRH were from comfirmed cases of rabies, 19 were diagnosed as cases of meningoencephalitis caused by bovine herpesvirus-5 (BoHV-5), 11 were confirmed cases of malignant catarrhal fever (MCF), 7 had pituitary abscesses, 17 had lesions of hepatic encephalopathy (status spongiosus) attributable to chronic liver failure due to Senecio sp poisoning; and the remaining 124 GRH were from cattle which did not present neurological signs and died or were euthanatized due to various causes. No significant histologic changes were observed in the GRH from the 124 cattle which did not present neurological signs, in the GRH of the 17 cattle that had hepatic encephalopathy neither in the GRH of the 19 cattle diagnosed with BoHV-5 meningoencephalitis. Inflammatory changes were found in the Gasserian ganglia of 20 out of 21 cases of rabies and consisted of proliferation of sattelite cells, glial nodules and lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate; degenerative changes included central chromatolysis, neuronal vacuolation, and neuronal death with neuronophagia. Characteristic eosinophilic intracytoplasmatic inclusion (Negri) bodies were found in 19 out of 21 cases of rabies, neuritis of the fifth nerve in 11, and neurohypophysitis in 4 cases. The GRH from nine of the eleven cases of MCF had characteristic necrotizing arteritis affecting the arteries of the carotid rete mirabile. In seven cases pituitary abscesses were found; they were characterized by large aggregates of neutrophils admixed with cellular debris and surrounded by mononuclear cells and were walled by a fibrous capsule. Several incidental findings were observed equally in the 199 histologically examined GRH and consequently were non specific for any disease entity. These include cysts in the pituitary cleft, fibrin and neutrophilic aggregates in the cavernous sinus of the carotid rete mirabile, mildly increased numbers of sattelite cells around neurons of the Gasserian ganglia and occasional neuronal vacuolation and lipofuscinosis. It was concluded that the histological examination of the GRH is an important and reliable tool in the diagnosis of the main forms of encephalitis occurring in cattle in Brazil.

Keywords : Diseases of cattle; diseases of the central nervous system; Gasserian ganglion; carotid rete mirabile; pituitary gland; neuropathology.

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