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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2012

Authors: Künzel, F; Hittmair, KM; Hassan, J; Dupré, G; Russold, E; Guija de Arespachochaga, A; Fuchs-Baumgartinger, A; Bilek, A

Title: Thymomas in rabbits: clinical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Source: J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2012; 48(2):97-104

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Bilek Andrea
Dupré Gilles
Fuchs-Baumgartinger Andrea
Guija-De-Arespacochaga Abigail
Hassan Jasmin
Hittmair Katharina
Künzel Frank
Russold Elena

Vetmed Research Units
Clinical Pathology Platform
University Clinic for Small Animals, Clinical Unit of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Intensive-Care Medicine
University Clinic for Small Animals, Clinical Unit of Diagnostic Imaging
University Clinic for Small Animals, Clinical Unit of Internal Medicine Small Animals
University Clinic for Small Animals, Clinical Unit of Small Animal Surgery
Institute of Pathology

Thymomas are rarely recorded in rabbits, and the literature includes comparatively few cases. Medical records were reviewed to identify all pet rabbits in which a mediastinal mass was diagnosed between Feb 2007 and Jan 2010. Signalment, history, clinical signs, diagnostic work-up (including laboratory data, diagnostic imaging, and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of the mediastinal mass), treatment modalities, survival time, and histologic findings were evaluated. Cytologic and/or histopathologic examinations revealed thymomas in all rabbits with mediastinal masses (n=13). Rabbits with thymomas showed clinical signs of dyspnea (76.9%), exercise intolerance (53.9%), and bilateral exophthalmos (46.2%). In seven rabbits the thymoma was removed surgically. Two rabbits were treated conservatively, and four rabbits were euthanized because of their poor clinical condition. The two rabbits that underwent surgery were euthanized 6 mo and 34 mo later. Mediastinal masses in rabbits appear to be more common than previously believed and consist primarily of thymomas rather than thymic lymphomas. Cytology of samples collected by ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration is an accurate diagnostic tool for the identification of thymomas in rabbits. Due to a high rate of perioperative mortality, intensive perioperative care and the provision of a low-stress environment are recommended for a successful thoracotomy.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Mediastinal Neoplasms/diagnosis
Mediastinal Neoplasms/mortality
Mediastinal Neoplasms/surgery
Mediastinal Neoplasms/veterinary*
Retrospective Studies
Survival Analysis
Thymus Neoplasms/diagnosis
Thymus Neoplasms/mortality
Thymus Neoplasms/surgery
Thymus Neoplasms/veterinary*

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