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March 2015

Cat: Lung, emphysema, severe, multifocal, chronic with
multifocal atelectasis (approx. 40%) and mild multifocal fibrosis

03_15

History: Siamese cat, 7 years, female

Diagnoses: Lung, emphysema, severe, multifocal, chronic with multifocal atelectasis (approx. 40%) and mild multifocal fibrosis

Description: The lung displays severe multifocal to confluent alveolar emphysema with interspersed atelectatic areas and mild multifocal fibrosis.

Comments: The cat presented clinically with chronic coughing and severe acute dyspnoea. The pathologic examination revealed severe alveolar emphysema of the lung with multifocal atelectatic areas.

Histologically, the chronic emphysema and multifocal fibrosis were confirmed, in addition to severe hyperplasia of pneumocytes type II, moderate alveolar histiocytosis, and moderate hyperplasia of smooth muscle cells. Eosinophils and rare neutrophils were present within bronchial and bronchiolar walls.

Feline asthma can develop due to a variety of causes including inhalation of cat litter dust, smoke, or aerosol sprays, initially resulting in a type I immediate hypersensitivity reaction. Dyspnoea is often seen because of hyperactivity of airways smooth muscle cells resulting in bronchoconstriction, and variably airflow obstruction with increased mucoid exsudate.

Picture and authored by: Stephanie Plog, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Freie Universit├Ąt, Berlin, Germany