Spontaneous proliferative and neoplastic lesions in thyroid and parathyroid glands of nondomestic felids

Pope JP, Steeil J, Ramsay EC, et al.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2017;29:8-13.

Based on microscopic and immunohistochemical characterization, we documented spontaneous proliferative and neoplastic lesions in the thyroid and parathyroid glands of nondomestic felids. Ten animals (4 leopards, 3 tigers, and 3 cougars), all with a previous diagnosis of thyroid neoplasia were identified from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine database. The mean age of affected animals was 15.9 y. Twelve neoplasms were identified; 2 animals had 2 concurrent neoplasms. After immunohistochemical characterization using a panel of chromogranin A, thyroglobulin, and calcitonin, 7 of the former thyroid neoplasms were diagnosed as thyroid adenomas, 1 was diagnosed as a thyroid carcinoma, and 4 were diagnosed as parathyroid adenomas. No thyroid medullary neoplasms (C-cell tumors) were diagnosed in the current study. Most of the diagnosed neoplasms were benign (11 of 12), and metastasis was not documented in the single carcinoma. Only 2 animals were suspected to have functional neoplasms (1 thyroid adenoma and 1 parathyroid adenoma), based on associated tissue lesions or serum biochemistry. Other documented lesions in the thyroid and parathyroid glands included thyroid nodular hyperplasia ( n = 7), parathyroid hyperplasia associated with chronic renal disease ( n = 2), a thyroid abscess, and a branchial cyst. Parathyroid adenomas were more commonly diagnosed than expected in comparison with domestic cats. We demonstrated that an immunohistochemistry panel for thyroglobulin, calcitonin, and chromogranin A can be used to differentiate neoplasms of thyroid from parathyroid origin in nondomestic felids.