Brain Lesions of Naturally Occurring Pregnancy Toxemia of Sheep

M. Jeffrey, Robert Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The neuropathology and biochemical features of 17 sheep with clinical signs and gross necropsy features of naturally occurring pregnancy toxemia were retrospectively evaluated. The sheep ranged in age from 3 to 6 years and were of seven different breeds and three breed crosses. Thirteen sheep (case Nos. 1–4, 6–9, 11–14, 16) showed astrocytic nuclear swelling, hypertrophy and proliferation, and cerebrocortical neuronal necrosis. Seven of these sheep had Purkinje cell necrosis (case Nos. 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 14, 16), and seven had vacuolation of cerebral and cerebellar sub-cortical white matter (case Nos. 1–4, 9, 12, 13). The neuropathologic features were similar to those of naturally occurring hypoglycemia of human beings and experimentally induced hypoglycemia of primates and the rat. The lesions seen in the sheep studied may have been caused by cerebral hypoglycemia, but data for blood or cerebral glucose concentrations were not available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrocytosis
  • brain
  • hypoglycemia
  • neuronal necrosis
  • pregnancy toxemia
  • sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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