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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397065

Research Project: Diagnostic and Mitigation Strategies to Control Tuberculosis in Cattle and Wildlife

Location: Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research

Title: Pulmonary hamartoma in an elk calf (Cervus elaphus canadensis)

item Boggiatto, Paola
item Olsen, Steven
item Palmer, Mitchell

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/22/2022
Publication Date: 12/7/2022
Citation: Boggiatto, P.M., Olsen, S.C., Palmer, M.V. 2022. Pulmonary hamartoma in an elk calf (Cervus elaphus canadensis). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 35(2).

Interpretive Summary: A newborn elk calf was found dead. The cause of death was determined to be a large tumor-like mass in the chest, which replaced most of the lungs on the left side. Microscopic examination revealed it to be a "hamartoma", which is a haphazardly arranged mass of tissues, normal for the anatomic area, but developmentally abnormal. This is the first report of a hamartoma in a captive elk. This information will be of use to elk producers and veterinary diagnosticians.

Technical Abstract: Hamartomas are benign tumor-like lesions composed of disorganized growth of mature mesenchymal or epithelial tissues indigenous to the organ involved. Sporadically observed in ruminants, vascular, fibrous, nasal, and pulmonary hamartomas have been reported in calves, while pulmonary and cutaneous forms have been reported in sheep. A full-term elk calf found dead presented with a large intrathoracic mass replacing the left caudal lung lobe and compressing other thoracic organs. Histopathology revealed numerous cross and tangential sections of bronchi separated by collagenous mesenchyme and irregularly shaped canaliculi and saccules resembling terminal bronchioles. Rarely present were regions where saccules lined by simple cuboidal epithelium transitioned into attenuated epithelium lining fully developed alveoli. These findings are consistent with a pulmonary hamartoma. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a pulmonary hamartoma in a non-domestic ruminant.