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Open Access Edema and Tetraparesis in a Miniature Pig after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

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A 3-mo-old, 12-kg, intact, miniature pig presented with severe neurologic signs on day 8 after hematopoietic cell transplantation. This pig had received an immunosuppressive regimen before transplantation that included an antiCD3 immunotoxin for T-cell depletion, 100 cGy of total-body irradiation, and cyclosporine for 45 d. The pig began exhibiting erythematous lesions on posttransplantation day 7. He also demonstrated increased conscious proprioceptive deficits and recumbency but normal mentation. Neurologic signs worsened over several days; the pig became lethargic but remained afebrile. Conjunctival swelling developed on posttransplantation day 9, which subsequently spread to the animal's head, ears and hocks by day 10. Analgesics were given for pain, and cyclosporine levels were decreased. Despite the measures taken, neurologic signs progressed. Given the worsening subcutaneous edema and neurologic status, Escherichia coli infection was suspected, and treatment with a third-generation cephalosporin was instituted. The clinical signs resolved within 12 h after the start of antibiotics. 'Shiga-like' toxin from E. coli can cause peracute toxemia and induce ataxia, paralysis, and recumbency. Other common and pathognomonic findings include periocular edema and variable edema in other subcutaneous regions. A fecal sample demonstrated an overgrowth of gram-negative, lactose-fermenting colonies. On the basis of the clinical presentation, exclusion of other potential conditions compatible with edema and neurologic diseases, physical exam findings, microbiology and the resolution of signs after therapy, the pig was diagnosed with edema disease.
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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA 2: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, Massachusetts, USA 3: Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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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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