The histopathology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in West Highland white terriers shares features of both non-specific interstitial pneumonia and usual interstitial pneumonia in man.

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Syrjä P, Heikkilä HP, Lilja-Maula L, Krafft E, Clercx C, Day MJ, Rönty M, Myllärniemi M, Rajamäki MM.

J Comp Pathol. 2013 Aug-Oct;149(2-3):303-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2013.03.006.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in West Highland white terriers (WHWTs) is a breed-related, spontaneously arising disease that is a potential animal model for IPF in man. Histopathological similarity between IPF in WHWTs and usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), the histopathological correlate for IPF in man, has not been confirmed and histological features of non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), another form of human idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, have been reported in WHWTs with IPF. This study describes the pulmonary histopathological findings in 18 WHWTs with IPF, including lobe-specific samples in nine of the dogs. The canine lesions and their distribution pattern are compared with histopathological characteristics in samples of human UIP and NSIP. Underlying diffuse mature fibrosis, resembling human NSIP more than UIP, was seen in the lungs of all dogs with IPF. Additionally, the majority of dogs with IPF showed multifocal areas of accentuated subpleural and peribronchiolar fibrosis with occasional ‘honeycombing’ and profound alveolar epithelial changes, reminiscent of human UIP and not commonly seen in NSIP. Interstitial fibroblastic foci, characteristic of UIP, were not seen in WHWTs with IPF. Progressive fibrosis, with intra-alveolar organizing fibrosis alongside interstitial mature collagen deposition, was present within the more severely affected areas of lung in WHWTs with IPF. Severe pulmonary lesions were seen more commonly in the caudal than in the cranial lung lobes.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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