Verminous Arteritis Due to Crassicauda sp. in Cuvier's Beaked Whales (Ziphius Cavirostris). Academic Article uri icon


  • The vascular system of Cuvier's beaked whales (CBW) (Ziphius cavirostris; family Ziphiidae), an extremely deep, prolonged-diving cetacean, is increasingly receiving anatomic and physiologic study due to possible anthropogenic interactions; however, vascular pathology rarely has been reported in this species. Thirteen CBW stranded in the Canary Islands from June 2008 to June 2014 were autopsied. A careful dissection of the thoracic and abdominal vasculature was performed on these animals. All had moderate to severe and extensive chronic fibrosing arteritis with aneurysms, hemorrhages, and thrombosis primarily involving the mesenteric and gastroepiploic arteries and the thoracic and abdominal aorta. Microscopically, the lesions varied from subacute subintimal hemorrhages and severe neutrophilic, eosinophilic, and histiocytic dissecting arteritis with intralesional nematode larvae to marked, chronic, fibrosing arteritis with thickening and distortion of the vascular wall with calcification and occasional cartilage metaplasia. In addition, adult nematodes in renal arteries and veins, renal parenchyma and/or ureter were identified morphologically as Crassicauda sp. Nucleic acid sequenced from renal nematodes from 2 animals yielded closest nucleotide identity to C. magna The pathogenesis is proposed to involve a host response to larval migration from the intestine to the kidney through the mesenteric arteries, abdominal aorta, and renal arteries. Severe consequences for such lesions are possible and could vary from reduced vascular compliance to chronic renal disease and predisposition to the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation and multiorgan failure. Severe chronic arteritis in CBW is associated with renal parasitism by Crassicauda spp.

published proceedings

  • Vet Pathol

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Daz-Delgado, J., Fernndez, A., Xuriach, A., Sierra, E., Bernaldo de Quirs, Y., Mompeo, B., ... Arbelo, M.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Díaz-Delgado, J||Fernández, A||Xuriach, A||Sierra, E||Bernaldo de Quirós, Y||Mompeo, B||Pérez, L||Andrada, M||Marigo, J||Catão-Dias, JL||Groch, KR||Edwards, JF||Arbelo, M

publication date

  • November 2016