Acta Vet. Brno 2014, 83: 51-54

Congenital sternal ectopia cordis in a Limousin calf – a case report

Hieronim Frąckowiak1, Jędrzej Maria Jaśkowski2, Maria Nabzdyk1, Beata Kociucka3, Izabela Szczerbal3, Marek Switonski3, Dorota Bukowska2, Paweł Antosik2

1Poznań University of Life Sciences, Institute of Zoology, Department of Animal Anatomy, Poznań, Poland
2Poznań University of Life Sciences, Institute of Veterinary Sciences, Poznań, Poland
3Poznań University of Life Sciences, Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Poznań, Poland

Recognition and detailed description of malformations and aberrations in domestic animals may be very useful in cognition of the problem and in creating breeding programs. The aim of this study was to describe a rare case of sternal (pectoral) ectopia cordis in a calf. A female calf of the Limousin breed born in Poland in 2011 was subjected to euthanasia because the heart was situated outside the chest. The carcass of the calf was subjected to anatomical examination in which alterations in cardiovascular system and in the structure of the sternum were observed. Cytogenetic studies were performed to find out if the karyotype of the calf was normal. Elongation of the ascending aorta was observed and the pattern of aortic branching was aberrant similarly to that found in dogs, not cattle. The systemic circulation was found to be linked to pulmonary circulation due to persisting large calibre arterial duct. Each of the ventricles had its own cardiac apex and walls of the ventricles manifested a similar width. The atria were slightly altered. A single, short and dilated blood vessel (pulmonary vein) evacuated its content to the left atrium. Pericardium formed no pericardial sac. Radiogram of the sternum demonstrated a ring-resembling shape and 12 (6 pairs) cartilaginous bars of the sternum (sternebrae). A normal female karytotype (60, XX) indicated that this malformation was not caused by an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploidy).


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