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Title: Histopathological muscle findings may be essential for a definitive diagnosis of suspected sharp trauma associated with ship strikes in stranded cetaceans
Authors: Sierra Pulpillo, Eva María 
Fernández Rodríguez, Antonio Jesús 
Espinosa de los Monteros y Zayas, Antonio 
Arbelo Hernández, Manuel Antonio 
Diaz Delgado, Josue 
Andrada Borzollino, Marisa Ana 
Herráez Thomas, Pedro Manuel 
UNESCO Clasification: 310907 Patología
Keywords: Histopathology
Cetacean pathology
Ship strikes
Sharp trauma
Issue Date: 2014
Project: Bioindicadores Del Sindrome de Estres Post Varamiento en Cetaceos 
Patología Embolico "Gaseosa/Grasa" en Cetáceos 
C200801000288 Dirección General de Innovación
Journal: PLoS ONE 
Abstract: Ship strikes are a major issue for the conservation of may cetacean species. Certain gross and microscopic criteria have been previously reported for establishing a diagnosis of death due to ship strikes in these animals. However, some ship-strike injuries may be masked by advanced carcass decomposition and may be undetectable due to restricted access to the animals. In this report we describe histopathological muscular findings in 13 cetaceans with sharp trauma from ship strikes as the cause of death. Skeletal muscle samples were taken from the incision site and from the main locomotor muscle, the longissimus dorsi, in areas not directly affected by the sharp injury. The microscopic findings in tissues from both sites mainly consisted of haemorrhages; oedema; flocculent, granular or/and hyalinised segmentary degeneration; contraction band necrosis; and discoid degeneration or fragmentation of myofibres. We propose that skeletal muscle histopathology provides evidence of ante-mortem injuries even if the sample was taken elsewhere in the carcass and not only within or adjacent to the sharp trauma site and despite the advanced decomposition of some of the carcasses. This method helps to establish the diagnosis of ship strike as the cause of death.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088780
Source: PLoS ONE [EISSN 1932-6203], v. 9(2), (e88780)
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