Sphingomyelin lipidosis (Niemann-Pick Disease) in a juvenile raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Natalia Vapniarsky Arzi, D. A. Wenger, D. Scheenstra, Asli Mete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A wild caught juvenile male raccoon with neurological disease was humanely destroyed due to poor prognosis. Necropsy examination revealed hepatomegaly, splenomegaly and multicentric lymphadenomegaly with diffuse hepatic pallor and pulmonary consolidation with pinpoint pale subpleural foci. Microscopically, there was marked pale cytoplasmic swelling of the central and peripheral neurons as well as the glial cells in the brain, accompanied by multiorgan infiltration by abundant foamy macrophages. Ultrastructural investigation revealed accumulation of concentrically arranged lamellar material within lysosomes of the affected neurons, macrophages and endothelial cells. Biochemical enzymatic analysis detected sphingomyelinase deficiency and lysosomal storage disease consistent with sphingomyelin lipidosis (Niemann-Pick disease [NPD]) was diagnosed. This is the first report of NPD in a raccoon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-389
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Lysosomal storage disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease
  • Raccoon
  • Sphingomyelinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • veterinary(all)


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