Comparison of the histology and immunohistochemistry of vaccination-site and non-vaccination-site sarcomas from cats in New Zealand

Comparison of the histology and immunohistochemistry of vaccination-site and non-vaccination-site sarcomas from cats in New Zealand
Peer reviewed

Abstract

AIMS: To compare the histology and immunohistochemistry of vaccination-site sarcomas (VSSs) with non-vaccination-site sarcomas (NVSSs) in cats in New Zealand. To determine whether VSSs in cats in New Zealand have similar histological and immunohistochemical features to those previously described in feline vaccine-associated sarcomas (VASs) in North American studies.
METHODS: A retrospective survey of skin biopsies submitted between 2004 and 2006 was performed to identify cutaneous sarcomas from both vaccination and non-vaccination sites in cats. Vaccination sites included the interscapular, shoulder, or dorsal or lateral cervical and thoracic regions. All sarcomas were examined histologically, and smooth muscle actin and desmin were assessed immunohistochemically. Features previously described in VASs were assessed and compared.
RESULTS: Sarcomas from 34 cats were identified, 10 of which occurred at vaccination sites. Compared with NVSSs, VSSs were more likely to be located in the hypodermis and have greater cellular pleomorphism, higher mitotic rates, more frequent peripheral lymphocytic aggregates and multinucleated giant cells. VSSs were also more likely than NVSSs to show partial myofibroblastic differentiation, demonstrable using immunohistochemistry. The histological and immunohistochemical features of VSSs in cats in New Zealand are consistent with those previously described in VASs in cats in North America.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that VASs occur in cats in New Zealand.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The occurrence of VASs in cats in New Zealand would provide further support for restriction of the vaccination of cats to the minimum necessary to protect health, and adoption of the New Zealand Veterinary Association guidelines on vaccination.
KEY WORDS: Companion animal, cat, neoplasia, pathology, vaccination, vaccine-associated sarcoma

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