Feline Cerebrovascular Disease: Clinical and Histopathologic Findings in 16 Cats

Altay U.M., Skerritt G.C., Hilbe M., et al.

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc, 2011. 47(2): p.89-97.


Sixteen cats with cerebrovascular disease confirmed via histology to be of nontraumatic and nonneoplastic origins are described. In addition, the anatomy of the arterial supply of the cat’s brain is reviewed. It is suggested that this unique arterial design may influence the incidence of cerebrovascular accidents in this species. Of the 16 cats reviewed, seven cats had ischemic infarctions, five had hemorrhagic infarctions, and four were diagnosed with intracranial hemorrhage. The median age was 8 yr and 9.5 yr in cats with infarctions and intracranial hemorrhages, respectively. Clinical signs were severe, acute, consistent with the localization of the cerebrovascular lesion, and influenced by underlying pathology. Four cats with infarction showed lateralized neurologic signs. Four cats with infarctions were diagnosed with pulmonary disease antemortem and three cats had hyperthyroidism. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis and computed tomography scans were available in two cats. None of the infarctions were grossly visible. All cats with hemorrhagic infarcts had severe liver pathology and nephritis was identified in four cats. Hypoxia was a feature in four cats and one cat suffered cardiac failure. In conclusion, the clinical picture is influenced by the type of cerebrovascular disease, the localization of the intracranial lesions, and any underlying pathology.