Pulmonary inflammation associated with aspirated ...

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Title Pulmonary inflammation associated with aspirated meconium and epithelial-cells in calves
Author(s) Alfonso Lopez, R. Bildfell
Journal Veterinary Pathology
Date 1992
Volume 29
Issue 2
Start page 104
End page 111
Abstract "Meconium aspiration syndrome" is a condition resulting in respiratory distress and the occasional death of newborn human beings. A retrospective study was conducted on 52 calves that were submitted for postmortem examination to the Atlantic Veterinary College, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. These calves died of infectious and noninfectious diseases within the first 2 weeks of life due to a variety of causes. The most common cause of death was infectious enteric disease. Histologic examination of lungs revealed that 42.5% of calves had evidence of meconium, squamous cells, or keratin in the lung. There was considerable variation in the magnitude of histologic changes in lungs containing aspirated material. Typically, affected lungs had only a few inconspicuous pieces of meconium, keratin, and squamous cells within bronchoalveolar spaces. Sporadically, the entire lumen of airways was obliterated by aspirated material. Lungs with aspirated material had a mild but diffuse alveolitis characterized by exudation of a few neutrophils, macrophages, and occasional multinucleated giant cells. Obstruction of small airways and focal atelectasis were also observed. Similar lesions have been reported in human meconium aspiration syndrome. It is concluded that histologic changes similar to those of human meconium aspiration syndrome occur commonly in calves that die within 2 weeks of birth. Further studies involving healthy age-matched calves are required to evaluate the clinico-pathologic significance of meconium aspiration in this species.

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