Gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma / carcinoma in Reptiles | Vetlexicon
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Gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma / carcinoma

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Synonym(s): Neuroendocrine gastric adenocarcinoma, Pyloric adenocarcinoma, Pancreatic carcinoma, Intestinal adenocarcinoma, Hepatic carcinoma, Hepatic adenocarcinoma

Introduction

  • Cause: spontaneously occurring gastrointestinal carcinomas and adenocarcinomas are seen in reptiles. Neuroendocrine gastric carcinomas occur spontaneously and are common in Bearded dragons.
  • Signs: anorexia, weight loss, lethargy, hyperglycemia.
  • Diagnosis: endoscopy or exploratory laparotomy and biopsy.
  • Treatment: no known effective treatments.
  • Prognosis: guarded to poor.

Presenting signs

  • Weight loss.
  • Lethargy.
  • Anorexia.
  • Collapse.
  • Death.

Age predisposition

  • These tumors are most common in older reptiles however neuroendocrine gastric carcinomas of Bearded dragons Bearded dragons regularly occur in younger animals as well as in older ones.

Gender predisposition

  • No known gender predisposition.

Breed/Species predisposition

  • Neuroendocrine gastric carcinomas are common in Bearded dragons Bearded dragons.
  • Biliary adenocarcinomas are more commonly seen in lizards as well as colubrid and crotalid snakes.
  • Hepatocellular carcinomas are more commonly seen in snakes but metastasis of neuroendocrine carcinoma from the stomach is common in Bearded dragons.
  • Small intestinal and colonic adenocarcinomas are more common in colubrid snakes. Intestinal adenocarcinomas are not common in other reptiles.
  • Splenopancreatic adenocarcinomas are seen in snakes but uncommonly in other reptiles.
  • Carcinoma and adenocarcinoma in all locations are generally rare in chelonians and crocodilians.

Pathogenesis

Pathophysiology

  • Neuroendocrine gastric carcinomas in Bearded dragons arise from the submucosa of the stomach wall, are locally invasive and commonly metastasize to the liver.
  • Neuroendocrine gastric carcinomas produce somatostatin which suppresses insulin production leading to hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia

Timecourse

  • Reptiles hide clinical signs and often present late in the course of disease.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Christman J, Devau M, Wilson-Robles H et al (2017) Oncology of reptiles: Diseases, diagnosis, and treatment. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Prac 20 (1), 87-110 PubMed.
  • Lyons J A, Newman S J, Greenacre C B et al (2010) A gastric neuroendocrine carcinoma expressing somatostatin in a Bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). J Vet Diag Invest 22 (2), 316-320 PubMed.
  • Ritter R M, Garner M M, Chilton J A et al (2009) Gastric neuroendocrine carcinomas in Bearded dragons. Vet Pathol 46 (6), 1109-1116 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Bruce L S (2011) Gastric Endoneurocrine Carcinoma (Somatostatinoma) in a Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps. In: Proc Assoc Rept Amphibian Vet. pp 149-151 (pdf download).
  • Mauldin G N & Done L B (2006) Oncology. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery. Ed: Mader D R. Elsevier, USA. pp 581-630.