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Chronic Hepatitis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Associated with Persistent Woodchuck Hepatitis Virus Infection

Roth, L., King, J. M., Hornbuckle, W. E., Harvey, H. J., Tennant, B. C.
Marmota monax, Protozoa, Woodchuck hepatitis virus, adenoma, animal pathology, biopsy, chronic hepatitis, hepatoma, liver, lungs, metastasis, necropsy, necrosis
The livers of 16 woodchucks with naturally acquired chronic infection with woodchuck hepatitis virus were examined both grossly and histologically in 14 biopsy specimens and seven necropsy specimens. Fifteen woodchucks had lesions characteristic of chronic hepatitis; ten of these had chronic active hepatitis, four had chronic persistent hepatitis, and one had cirrhosis with nodular regeneration. In one woodchuck there was massive hepatic necrosis attributed to infection with an unclassified protozoan. Thirteen woodchucks had primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Metastasis to the lung was observed in only one woodchuck. These results were compared to liver lesions in 149 woodchuck hepatitis virus-negative woodchucks. Chronic hepatitis comparable to that associated with woodchuck hepatitis virus infection was not observed in woodchuck hepatitis virus-negative woodchucks although in one, a single, small hepatocellular adenoma was found.