Visceral leishmaniasis with cardiac involvement in a dog: A case report

Mónica López-Pẽa, Nuria Alemã, Fernando Mũoz, Dolors Fondevila, María Luisa Suárez, Ana Goicoa, Jose María Nieto

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22 Citations (Scopus)


A dog presented with cutaneous nodules, enlarged lymph nodes and oedema in limbs, face and abdomen. The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis was established by identification of Leishmania amastigotes within macrophages from skin and popliteal lymph node biopsies. At necropsy, lesions were found in different organs, but it was particularly striking to observe large areas of pallor in the myocardium. Histological examination revealed an intense chronic inflammatory reaction in many organs, and numerous macrophages were found to contain amastigote forms of Leishmania. The inflammatory reaction was especially severe in the heart, where large areas of the myocardium appeared infiltrated with huge numbers of mononuclear immune cells, causing cardiac muscle atrophy and degeneration. Despite the severe inflammation, the number of parasitized macrophages was low in the myocardium, as revealed by immunohistochemical staining of Leishmania amastigotes. Because cardiac involvement is not usually described in this condition, this dog represents a very rare case of canine visceral leishmaniasis with affection of the myocardium.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalActa Veterinaria Scandinavica
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2009


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