Kernicterus in a Neonatal Foal

Alan T. Loynachan, N. M. Williams, J. F. Freestone

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19 Scopus citations


A 5-day-old Thoroughbred foal was submitted to the necropsy service at the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center. The foal had a clinical history of seizure activity and severe icterus. A complete blood count and serum chemistry analysis indicated that the foal was anemic (hematocrit, 16%), hyperbilirubinemic (45 mg/dl), and hypoglycemic. At necropsy, all tissues were discolored various shades of yellow. Microscopically, there was degeneration and necrosis of cerebral neurons and cerebellar Purkinje cells; severe hepatocellular degeneration and necrosis; and deposition of amorphous golden-yellow material in the cerebellar granular cell layer, pulmonary alveoli, renal tubular epithelium, splenic trabecula, and the lamina propria of the small and large intestine. The golden-yellow material in the brain, lung, spleen, and small intestine was identified as bilirubin by histochemistry. Based on the macroscopic and microscopic findings, a diagnosis of kernicterus (bilirubin encephalopathy) was made. This report describes a rare case of equine neonatal kernicterus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-212
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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