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Open Access Anisocoria and Middle Cerebral Artery Saccular (Berry) Aneurysm in a Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)

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A 27-year-old female rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) developed anisocoria. The left pupil was dilated and unresponsive to light. The macaque was euthanized because of unrelated reasons and the body was submitted for necropsy. On gross examination, a berry aneurysm of the right middle cerebral artery causing marked compression of the right optic tract was found. Arteriosclerotic changes were observed microscopically in the right middle cerebral and in the internal carotid arteries. The left iris was markedly degenerated, with atrophy of the constrictor muscle. Compression of the right optic tract may cause homonimus hemianopsia. A dilated and unresponsive left pupil indicated a lesion in the ipsilateral parasympathetic efferent pathway. In the absence of appreciable lesions of the left oculomotor nerve, the most likely cause of mydriasis was the iridic lesion. Intracranial aneurysms are common in humans (2 to 5%), but not in other species. Only about 10% of unruptured aneurysms are associated with neurologic deficits related to mechanical compression, such as visual deficits or anisocoria. Meticulous investigation of the ocular vascular and neural pathways led us to conclude that the anisocoria was unrelated to the aneurysm. To our knowledge, this report represents the first documented case of a naturally occurring intracranial aneurysm in nonhuman primates.

Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: Section of Comparative Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8016

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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