Enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens type D is an important disease of sheep and goats with a worldwide distribution. Cerebral microangiopathy is considered pathognomonic for ovine enterotoxemia and is seen in most cases of the disorder in sheep. However, these lesions are poorly described in goats. In this article, we describe the vasculocentric brain lesions in 44 cases of caprine spontaneous C. perfringens type D enterotoxemia. Only 1 goat had gross changes in the brain, which consisted of mild cerebellar coning. However, 8 of 44 (18%) cases showed microscopic brain lesions, characterized by intramural vascular proteinaceous edema, a novel and diagnostically significant finding. The precise location of the edema was better observed with periodic acid–Schiff, Gomori’s, and albumin stains. Glial fibrillary acidic protein and aquaporin 4 immunostaining revealed strong immunolabeling of astrocyte foot processes surrounding microvessels. The areas of the brain most frequently affected were the cerebral cortex, corpus striatum (basal ganglia), and cerebellar peduncles, and both arterioles and venules were involved. Most of the goats of this study showed lesions in the intestine (enteritis, colitis, and typhlitis), although pulmonary congestion and edema, hydrothorax, hydropericardium, and ascites were also described. Although the intramural edema described, for the first time, in these caprine cases is useful for the diagnosis of enterotoxemia when observed, its absence cannot exclude the disease.
- Clostridium perfringens type D
- intramural edema
ASJC Scopus subject areas