Cystic endometrial hyperplasia in elephants

D. W. Agnew, L. Munson, E. C. Ramsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Most captive female elephants are nulliparous and aged and many have endometrial disease, factors that may hinder fertility. This study characterized the pathologic features and demographic distribution of endometrial lesions from 27 captive Asian (Elephas maximus) and 13 African elephants (Loxodonta africanus), 12- to 57-years of age. The principal lesion was marked cystic and polypoid endometrial hyperplasia (CEH), present in 67% of Asian and 15% of African elephants ranging from 26 to 57 years. The lower prevalence in African elephants likely reflects their younger age range in this study. Fourteen of 15 affected elephants with breeding information were nulliparous. These results suggest that CEH and polyps are common in aged nulliparous elephants, and the severity of these lesions may impair fertility. These findings will be useful in the interpretation of ultrasonographic findings during reproductive examinations of potential breeding cows. Also, breeding programs should focus on younger animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • African elephants
  • Asian elephants
  • Cystic endometrial hyperplasia
  • Elephas maximus
  • Endometrial polyp
  • Loxodonta africanus
  • Reproduction
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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