Special Issue "Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases in Small Animals"

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381). This special issue belongs to the section "Anatomy, Histology and Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2022) | Viewed by 13263

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Irina Amorim
E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS); Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S) and Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), Universidade do Porto, 4050-345 Porto, Portugal
Interests: veterinary pathology; animal models of disease; zoonoses; gastric pathology; Helicobacter spp.
Dr. Marian Taulescu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Pathology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, 3-5 Calea Manastur, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Interests: animal models; animal oncology; cancer biology; comparative oncology; gastric cancer; translational medicine; viral oncogenesis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Gastrointestinal disorders are very common in companion animals and remain a frequent reason for veterinarian consultation.

Nevertheless, these conditions are commonly submitted to non-specific treatment, and their real causes are often not investigated nor disclosed. In addition to clinical investigation, the development of new laboratory tests for accurate diagnosis of gastric and small intestinal diseases in dogs and cats represents a continuous challenge for both clinicians and researchers. Furthermore, dogs and cats are considered suitable animal models for investigation of various gastrointestinal conditions in humans, including chronic inflammation, preneoplastic changes, and cancer.

This Special Issue will include original research articles and reviews under the main topic of gastrointestinal conditions in dogs and cats and comparative pathology, providing relevant histopathological and molecular diagnosis updates, disease classification, prognostic markers, and putative therapeutical targets of several inflammatory and neoplastic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Prof. Dr. Irina Amorim
Dr. Marian Taulescu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • canine
  • comparative pathology
  • diagnosis
  • etiology
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • feline
  • molecular markers

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Clinical and Pathological Diagnosis of Hereditary Gastrointestinal Polyposis in Jack Russell Terriers
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(10), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9100551 - 08 Oct 2022
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Abstract
Hereditary GI polyposis in JRTs is a novel hereditary disease characterized by the development of solitary and multiple polypoid tumors, predominantly in the stomach and/or colorectum. Our recent study indicated that JRTs with GI neoplastic polyps harbor an identical germline variant in the [...] Read more.
Hereditary GI polyposis in JRTs is a novel hereditary disease characterized by the development of solitary and multiple polypoid tumors, predominantly in the stomach and/or colorectum. Our recent study indicated that JRTs with GI neoplastic polyps harbor an identical germline variant in the APC gene, c.[462_463delinsTT], in a heterozygous state. Unlike sporadic cases, dogs afflicted with hereditary GI polyposis can be expected to have a prolonged survival time, as hereditary tumors are noninvasive. Since the discovery of this disease, the number of newly diagnosed cases in Japan has increased, allowing us to update the clinical and pathological features and provide a large number of diagnostic images. The present clinical case series study employing various diagnostic imaging techniques revealed that some of the cases harbored tumors in the small intestine in addition to the stomach and colorectum. Moreover, although rare, hereditary GI cancers can progress to the advanced stage and develop systemic metastasis, similar to sporadic GI tumors. These findings indicate that there is a wider range of variation in disease severity than was initially recognized. Our results can contribute to the accurate diagnosis of hereditary GI polyposis in clinical practice, pathological examinations, and future research. Full article
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Article
Machine Learning and Canine Chronic Enteropathies: A New Approach to Investigate FMT Effects
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(9), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9090502 - 13 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) represents a very promising approach to decreasing disease activity in canine chronic enteropathies (CE). However, the relationship between remission mechanisms and microbiome changes has not been elucidated yet. The main objective of this study was to report the clinical [...] Read more.
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) represents a very promising approach to decreasing disease activity in canine chronic enteropathies (CE). However, the relationship between remission mechanisms and microbiome changes has not been elucidated yet. The main objective of this study was to report the clinical effects of oral freeze-dried FMT in CE dogs, comparing the fecal microbiomes of three groups: pre-FMT CE-affected dogs, post-FMT dogs, and healthy dogs. Diversity analysis, differential abundance analysis, and machine learning algorithms were applied to investigate the differences in microbiome composition between healthy and pre-FMT samples, while Canine Chronic Enteropathy Clinical Activity Index (CCECAI) changes and microbial diversity metrics were used to evaluate FMT effects. In the healthy/pre-FMT comparison, significant differences were noted in alpha and beta diversity and a list of differentially abundant taxa was identified, while machine learning algorithms predicted sample categories with 0.97 (random forest) and 0.87 (sPLS-DA) accuracy. Clinical signs of improvement were observed in 74% (20/27) of CE-affected dogs, together with a statistically significant decrease in CCECAI (median value from 5 to 2 median). Alpha and beta diversity variations between pre- and post-FMT were observed for each receiver, with a high heterogeneity in the response. This highlighted the necessity for further research on a larger dataset that could identify different healing patterns of microbiome changes. Full article
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Article
Feline Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Sclerosing Fibroplasia—Extracellular Matrix Proteins and TGF-β1 Immunoexpression
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(6), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9060291 - 13 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Feline gastrointestinal eosinophilic sclerosing fibroplasia (FGESF) has been described as an inflammatory disorder with an eosinophilic component with etiopathogenesis that is still unknown. Sixteen intestinal samples from two veterinary diagnostic services (2014–2017) were included in the study. A histopathological criterion classified the cases [...] Read more.
Feline gastrointestinal eosinophilic sclerosing fibroplasia (FGESF) has been described as an inflammatory disorder with an eosinophilic component with etiopathogenesis that is still unknown. Sixteen intestinal samples from two veterinary diagnostic services (2014–2017) were included in the study. A histopathological criterion classified the cases into three grades (mild, moderate, and severe) according to the distribution of the lesions and the course. An immunohistochemical study of collagen I, collagen III, fibronectin, and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) was performed in each case. An immunohistochemical study of mild grades shows greater collagen III immunoexpression, compared to collagen I and fibronectin, which suggests an “early” stage of fibrosis. In more intense grades, an increased immunoexpression of collagen I, compared to collagen III, suggests a “late” stage of fibrosis. Otherwise, the highest expression of TGF-β1 was observed in the moderate phase, due to the high proliferation of reactive fibroblast and intense inflammation. The results suggest that the inflammatory infiltrate is the trigger for the elevation in TGF-β1, altering the collagen type III:I ratio. In conclusion, immunohistochemical studies can be a very useful method in diagnosing cases of FGESF of mild grades and could help to apply a differential diagnosis regarding feline eosinophilic chronic enteritis (CEE) in the context of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Full article
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Article
Helicobacter spp. in the Stomach of Cats: Successful Colonization and Absence of Relevant Histopathological Alterations Reveals High Adaptation to the Host Gastric Niche
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(5), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9050228 - 10 May 2022
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Abstract
In addition to Helicobacter pylori, many non-Helicobacter pylori Helicobacters (NHPH) are able to cause gastric disease in humans. Cats are a natural reservoir for many of these species. Accordingly, living in close and intimate contact with animals has been identified as [...] Read more.
In addition to Helicobacter pylori, many non-Helicobacter pylori Helicobacters (NHPH) are able to cause gastric disease in humans. Cats are a natural reservoir for many of these species. Accordingly, living in close and intimate contact with animals has been identified as a risk factor, and an important zoonotic significance has therefore been attributed to NHPH. To determine the prevalence and associated gastric histopathological changes of Helicobacter species, the gastric mucosa of 71 cats were evaluated. Only four presented normal histopathological mucosa with the absence of spiral-shaped organisms. Normal gastric mucosa and the presence of spiral-shaped bacteria were observed in 13 cats. The remaining animals presented histopathological changes representative of gastritis. Helicobacter species were detected in 53 cats (74.6%) by at least one detection method. None of the animals were positive for H. pylori or for H. ailurogastricus. Helicobacter heilmannii organisms were identified in 20 animals, predominantly in the body gastric region. Helicobacter salomonis was the second most prevalent species (57.1%), although it was mainly found in association with other NHPH. Helicobacter felis and H. bizzozeronii were less frequently detected. The great majority of the Helicobacter spp. PCR-positive animals presented normal features regarding fibrosis/mucosal atrophy, neutrophils, eosinophils, or other inflammatory cells and lymphofollicular hyperplasia. Given the controversy and the strong evidence of absence of significant histopathological alterations associated with the presence of Helicobacter spp. in cats, it is possible to hypothesize that these bacteria may be able to adapt to the feline gastric microenvironment or even to comprise part of the gastric microbiome of this animal species. Thus, prudency must be taken when prescribing an antibiotic therapy based solely on the presence of these bacteria in the feline stomach. Full article
Article
E-cadherin Expression in Canine Gastric Carcinomas: Association with Clinicopathological Parameters
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(4), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9040172 - 01 Apr 2022
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Abstract
E-cadherin (E-cad) is a cell-adhesion molecule known for its tumor-invasion suppressor function. E-cad expression was examined immunohistochemically in a series of canine tissue samples, including normal gastric mucosa (NGM; n = 3), gastric carcinomas (GC; n = 33), adjacent non-neoplastic mucosa (NNM; n [...] Read more.
E-cadherin (E-cad) is a cell-adhesion molecule known for its tumor-invasion suppressor function. E-cad expression was examined immunohistochemically in a series of canine tissue samples, including normal gastric mucosa (NGM; n = 3), gastric carcinomas (GC; n = 33), adjacent non-neoplastic mucosa (NNM; n = 32), neoplastic emboli (n = 16) and metastatic lesions (n = 9). The relationship between E-cad expression and clinicopathological features were investigated. In NGM, epithelial cells showed strong latero-lateral membranous expression of E-cad, and this pattern was considered normal. The membranous staining was preserved in all specimens of NNM (100%), whereas abnormal E-cad expression was found in 87.9% of the GCs. A marked difference in E-cad expression was observed between normal and malignant tissues (p < 0.0002). Abnormal E-cad expression was significantly more frequent in poorly/undifferentiated carcinomas (96%) and diffuse (95%) and indeterminate carcinomas (100%) than in well-differentiated/intestinal ones (62.5%; p = 0.0115 and p = 0.0392, respectively). There was significant association between abnormal E-cad expression and the depth of invasion (p = 0.0117), and the presence neoplastic emboli (p = 0.0194). No statistically significant differences in E-cad expression were observed concerning tumor location, histological type according to WHO classification, and presence of metastatic lesions. Therefore, deregulation of E-cad expression may play a role in canine gastric carcinogenesis and in tumor progression; moreover, it might be a prognostic tool for canine gastric cancer. Full article
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Article
Bcl-2 Immunoexpression in Feline Epitheliotropic Intestinal T-Cell Lymphomas
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(4), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9040168 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2066
Abstract
Lymphoma is the most common malignant hematopoietic neoplasm in domestic felines. Twenty-two cases of feline epitheliotropic duodenal T-cell lymphoma were characterized morphologically and immunohistochemically (CD3, Pax5, Ki-67), and Bcl-2 immunoexpression was established. Most cases were in domestic shorthair cats (88.2%), with a [...] Read more.
Lymphoma is the most common malignant hematopoietic neoplasm in domestic felines. Twenty-two cases of feline epitheliotropic duodenal T-cell lymphoma were characterized morphologically and immunohistochemically (CD3, Pax5, Ki-67), and Bcl-2 immunoexpression was established. Most cases were in domestic shorthair cats (88.2%), with a mean age of 11.2 years. All lymphomas were CD3+, with a low-to-moderate expression of Ki-67 (<30%). A correlation between the tumoral pattern of infiltration in the lamina propria and the intraepithelial distribution of the neoplastic lymphocytes was established (p = 0.0155). Intraepithelial nests of neoplastic lymphocytes were predominantly observed in lymphomas with a patchy distribution in the lamina propria, whereas intraepithelial plaques were seen in lymphomas with an obliteration pattern. Bcl-2 was expressed in neoplastic cells in all cases, and a higher expression was associated with increased villous stunting (p = 0.0221), and tended to be present in those cases with increased epithelial damage. The expression of Bcl-2 and the degree of epitheliotropism were correlated with neoplastic progression in epitheliotropic intestinal T-cell lymphomas; those displaying high Bcl-2 immunoexpression showed increased villous stunting and epithelial damage, suggesting that Bcl-2 is overexpressed in advanced tumor stages, and may be used as a predictor of tumoral behavior in feline epitheliotropic intestinal T-cell lymphomas. This entity showed many similarities with human MEITL, so the latter entity should be considered in further lymphoma classifications of domestic animals. Full article
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Review

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Review
Canine Gastric Cancer: Current Treatment Approaches
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(8), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9080383 - 26 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Human gastric cancer (GC) ranks as the fifth most prevalent cancer worldwide, and is the third leading cause of cancer-related death. The incidence of GC is lower in dogs than in humans, accounting for less than 1% of all canine malignancies. In recent [...] Read more.
Human gastric cancer (GC) ranks as the fifth most prevalent cancer worldwide, and is the third leading cause of cancer-related death. The incidence of GC is lower in dogs than in humans, accounting for less than 1% of all canine malignancies. In recent years, efforts have been made to understand the pathogenesis of GC and in find an appropriate therapy to maximize curative results, such as adjuvant chemotherapy treatments in addition to surgery. Although surgery is the first-line treatment, it is associated with several complications. In terms of chemotherapeutic intervention, canine gastric cancer has not received much attention, probably due to its late diagnosis, fast progression, low median survival time, and very high mortality rate, along with the lack of publications with concrete scientific results. In this review, we explore canine GC and the pharmacological approach used in the treatment of this often-fatal disease. Full article
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