Cerebellar and mesencephalon neoplasia in a Nile hipoppotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious)

Francesca Schiaffino, Samantha J. Sander, Marcia E.Pereira Bacares, Katie J. Barnes, Matti Kiupel, Timothy Walsh, Suzan Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 52-yr-old female Nile hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) was presented for acute onset anorexia, depression, lethargy, instability, and weakness in the pelvic limbs. Clinical signs were rapidly progressive, despite empiric therapy with anti-inflammatory medications, resulting in the death of the animal. Gross necropsy evaluation revealed two tan, firm masses in the cerebellum and mesencephalon and a single mass in the right cranial adrenal gland. All three masses had a similar histologic morphology, and immunohistochemical investigation confirmed the general diagnosis of an adenocarcinoma, but the exact cell of origin remains unclear. In addition, there was evidence of neuroendocrine differentiation in the adrenal gland and not in the brain. These findings suggest either two distinct neoplastic populations or a metastasizing adenocarcinoma with focal endocrine differentiation. In dogs, anal sac and clitoral adenocarcinomas have been reported to undergo focal endocrine differentiation, and both can cause widespread metastasis while the primary lesion can be small. A small neoplasm of these glands may have been missed on gross examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1096
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebellum
  • Hippopotamus amphibious
  • Mesencephalon
  • Neoplasia
  • Nile hippopotamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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