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Liver biopsy as diagnostic method for poisoning by swainsonine-containing plants

Rocha, Brena P., Reis, Matheus O., Driemeier, David, Cook, Daniel, Camargo, Lázaro M., Riet-Correa, Franklin, Evêncio-Neto, Joaquim, Mendonça, e Fábio S.
Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira 2016 v.36 no.5 pp. 373-377
Ipomoea, biopsy, concanavalin A, diagnostic techniques, goats, histochemistry, leaves, liver, poisoning, poisonous plants, swainsonine, wheat
With the aim to investigate the use of hepatic biopsies for the diagnosis of poisoning by swainsonine-containing plants, dry leaves of Ipomoea marcellia containing 0.02% of swainsonine were administered to goats. Group I, with six goats, ingested 4g/kg of dry plant (0.8mg of swainsonina/kg) daily until the observation of the first neurologic signs. Two goats that did not receive the plant were used as control (Group II). Hepatic biopsies with the Menghini needle were performed by the percutaneous technique at day zero and at weekly intervals after the start of the administration of I. marcellia. Biopsy samples were fixed in 10% formaline, processed routinely, and stained by hematoxilin-eosin and by lectins histochemistry. Hepatocellular vacuolization similar to those described in cases of lysosomal storage disease were identified in all goats of Group I from the seven day of plant consumption in the samples satained with hematoxylin-eosin. Using lectin histochemistry, consistent labelings were observed with Concanavalia ensiformis (Con-A) e Triticum vulgaris (WGA). It is concluded that routinely histological evaluation of liver biopsies can be used in the diagnosis of poisoning by swainsonine containing plants, even in goats without clinical signs, and lectin histochemistry which can be used as supplementary diagnostic method.