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Title: Decompressive Pathology in Cetaceans Based on an Experimental Pathological Model
Authors: Velázquez Wallraf, Alicia Sofía 
Fernández Rodríguez, Antonio Jesús 
Caballero Cansino, María José 
Møllerløkken, Andreas
Jepson, Paul D.
Andrada Borzollino, Marisa Ana 
Bernaldo De Quirós Miranda, Yara 
UNESCO Clasification: 310907 Patología
240119 Zoología marina
Keywords: Decompression sickness
Gas bubble
Rabbit model
Stranded cetaceans
Issue Date: 2021
Journal: Frontiers in Veterinary Science 
Abstract: Decompression sickness (DCS) is a widely known clinical syndrome in human medicine, mainly in divers, related to the formation of intravascular and extravascular gas bubbles. Gas embolism and decompression-like sickness have also been described in wild animals, such as cetaceans. It was hypothesized that adaptations to the marine environment protected them from DCS, but in 2003, decompression-like sickness was described for the first time in beaked whales, challenging this dogma. Since then, several episodes of mass strandings of beaked whales coincidental in time and space with naval maneuvers have been recorded and diagnosed with DCS. The diagnosis of human DCS is based on the presence of clinical symptoms and the detection of gas embolism by ultrasound, but in cetaceans, the diagnosis is limited to forensic investigations. For this reason, it is necessary to resort to experimental animal models to support the pathological diagnosis of DCS in cetaceans. The objective of this study is to validate the pathological results of cetaceans through an experimental rabbit model wherein a complete and detailed histopathological analysis was performed. Gross and histopathological results were very similar in the experimental animal model compared to stranded cetaceans with DCS, with the presence of gas embolism systemically distributed as well as emphysema and hemorrhages as primary lesions in different organs. The experimental data reinforces the pathological findings found in cetaceans with DCS as well as the hypothesis that individuality plays an essential role in DCS, as it has previously been proposed in animal models and human diving medicine.
ISSN: 2297-1769
DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2021.676499
Source: Frontiers in Veterinary Science [ISSN 2297-1769], n. 8, (Junio 2021)
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