Original Research

Renal medullary AA amyloidosis, hepatocyte dissociation and multinucleated hepatocytes in a 14-year-old free-ranging lioness (Panthera leo)

J.H. Williams, E. Van Wilpe, M. Momberg
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 76, No 2 | a404 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v76i2.404 | © 2005 J.H. Williams, E. Van Wilpe, M. Momberg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 2005 | Published: 13 June 2005

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J.H. Williams,
E. Van Wilpe,
M. Momberg,

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A 14-year-old lioness, originating from Etosha in Namibia, and a member of a pride in Pilanesberg National Park since translocation in 1994, was euthanased due to fight-related vertebral fracture and spinal injury, incurred approximately 6-8 weeks previously. Blood specimens collected at the time of death showed mild anaemia and a leukogram reflecting stress and chronic infection. Necropsy conducted within 2 hours of death was on a dehydrated, emaciated animal with hindquarter wasting and chronic traumatic friction injuries from dragging her hindlegs. There was cellulitis in the region of bite-wounds adjacent to the thoraco-lumbar vertebral fracture, at which site there was spinal cord compression, and there was marked intestinal helminthiasis. The outer renal medullae appeared pale and waxy and the liver was macroscopically unremarkable. Histopathology and electron microscopy of the kidneys revealed multifocal to coalescing deposits of proximal medullary interstitial amyloid, which fluoresced strongly with thioflavine T, and was sensitive to potassium permanganate treatment prior to Congo Red staining, thus indicating inflammatory (AA) origin. There was diffuse hepatocyte dissociation, as well as numerous binucleated and scattered multinucleated (up to 8 nuclei/cell) hepatocytes, with swollen hepatocyte mitochondria, in liver examined light microscopically. Ultrastructurally, the mono-, bi- and multinucleated hepatocytes contained multifocal irregular membrane-bound accumulations of finely-granular, amorphous material both intra-cytoplasmically and intra-nuclearly, as well as evidence of irreversible mitochondrial injury. The incidence and relevance in cats and other species of amyloidosis, particularly with renal medullary distribution, as well as of hepatocyte dissociation and multinucleation, as reported in selected literature, is briefly overviewed and their occurrence in this lioness is discussed.


Amyloidosis; Dissociation; Free-Ranging; Helminthiasis, hepatocyte; Kidney; Lioness; Multinucleated; Panthero Leo; Trauma


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