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Title: Muscle pathology in free-ranging stranded cetaceans
Authors: Sierra, E. 
Espinosa de los Monteros, A. 
Fernandez, A. 
Díaz-Delgado, J. 
Suárez-Santana, C. 
Arbelo, M. 
Sierra, M. A. 
Herráez, P. 
UNESCO Clasification: 3109 Ciencias veterinarias
Keywords: Cetaceans
Skeletal muscle
Degenerative changes
Hypertrophy, et al
Issue Date: 2017
Journal: Veterinary Pathology 
Abstract: Despite the profound impact that skeletal muscle disorders may pose for the daily activities of wild terrestrial and marine mammals, such conditions have been rarely described in cetaceans. In this study, the authors aimed to determine the nature and prevalence of skeletal muscle lesions in small and large odontocetes and mysticetes (n = 153) from 19 different species. A macroscopic evaluation of the epaxial muscle mass and a histologic examination of the longissimus dorsi muscle were performed in all cases. The only macroscopically evident change was variable degrees of atrophy of the epaxial muscles (longissimus dorsi, multifidus, spinalis) in emaciated specimens. The histopathological study revealed single or combined morphological changes in 91.5% of the cases. These changes included the following: degenerative lesions (75.2%), muscle atrophy (37.9%), chronic myopathic changes (25.5%), parasitic infestation (9.2%), and myositis (1.9%). The skeletal muscle is easily sampled during a necropsy and provides essential microscopic information that reflects both local and systemic conditions. Thus, skeletal muscle should be systematically sampled, processed, and examined in all stranded cetaceans.
ISSN: 0300-9858
DOI: 10.1177/0300985816660747
Source: Veterinary Pathology [ISSN 0300-9858], v. 54 (2), p. 298-311
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