Ocular and periocular hemangiosarcoma in six horses

Nicole M. Scherrer, Mary Utter, Julie Engiles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the characteristics of and prognosis for ocular and periocular hemangiosarcoma in horses. Animal studied: Six horses treated for ocular or periocular hemangiosarcoma. Procedure: A retrospective review of medical records from 2007 to 2015 was performed to identify horses with a histologic diagnosis of ocular or periocular hemangiosarcoma. Signalment (age, sex, breed), duration of clinical signs, prior treatment, tumor size and location, medical and surgical treatment including postoperative chemotherapy, follow-up time, and outcome were obtained from medical records. Histopathology was reviewed by a board-certified pathologist. Results: In six horses diagnosed with ocular or periocular hemangiosarcoma, no breed, age, or sex was overrepresented. Sites included the temporal limbus (3), third eyelid (2), and uvea (1). With the exception of one horse with uveal hemangiosarcoma, 5/6 horses had lightly pigmented periocular haircoat. Histologic features of ocular hemangiosarcoma in 6/6 cases included high cellularity, nuclear pleomorphism, and inflammation with a mitotic index ranging from 0 to 8 mitoses per 10 consecutive 400× fields. Five of six tumors displayed solar elastosis, indicating ultraviolet light-induced damage to sub-epithelial collagen. Treatment included surgical excision in all cases and was not associated with recurrence in 4/6. Three cases that received ancillary treatment with topical mitomycin C had no postoperative recurrence. Two cases with postexcisional recurrence had histologic evidence of incomplete excision. Conclusions: Complete surgical excision may be associated with resolution of periocular and ocular hemangiosarcoma in horses. Etiopathogenesis may include exposure to ultraviolet light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-437
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • chemotherapy
  • hemangiosarcoma
  • horse
  • ocular
  • periocular
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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