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Veterinary Pathology

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Ten dogs with neuroendocrine carcinoma of the liver were selected for inclusion in the study. Clinical signs were anorexia (7), vomiting (5), polydipsia/polyuria (3), icterus (2), lethargy (2), weight loss (2), paresis (1), ataxia (1), weakness (1), collapse (1), and urinary tract infection (1). Hematologic and biochemical abnormalities included anemia (2/8), leukocytosis (4/8), high liver enzyme activity (serum alkaline phosphatase, 7/9; alanine transaminase, 7/9; aspartate transaminase, 8/9), and high total bilirubin (6/9). Grossly, the tumors were diffuse, involving all liver lobes in six dogs, and two dogs had various-sized nodules in addition to diffuse involvement. Histologically, there were eight tumors with solid or trabecular pattern (group A), one tumor with cords or rows of neoplastic cells (group B), and one tumor with multiple rosette-like structures (group C). Immunohistochemical studies revealed that all 10 neoplasms were positive for at least one of the endocrine markers used: neuron-specific enolase (NSE; 8/10), synaptophysin (5/10), and chromogranin-A (3/10). A panel of NSE, chromagranin-A, and synaptophysin detected 100% of the tumors in our series. Electron microscopy confirmed the diagnosis by the presence of intracytoplasmic neurosecretory granules in the two examined cases. Our results show that neuroendocrine markers commonly used in humans can be used for the diagnosis of hepatic neuroendocrine carcinoma in dogs, preferably a panel of synaptophysin, chromagranin-A, and NSE because chromogranin-A alone is not as useful in dogs as in humans.

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