Tumors of the adrenal glands are among the most frequent tumors in cattle; however, few studies have been conducted to describe their characteristics. The aim of this study was to classify 41 bovine adrenal neoplasms from 40 animals based on macroscopic and histologic examination, including electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry for melan A, synaptophysin, chromogranin A, vimentin, pan-cytokeratin, 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphohydrolase (CNPase), and Ki-67. The tumors were classified as 23 adrenocortical adenomas, 12 adrenocortical carcinomas, 2 schwannomas, 2 pheochromocytomas (1 malignant), and 1 ganglioneuroma. Five histologic features were characteristic of metastasizing adrenocortical tumors: invasion of the capsule, vascular invasion, diffuse growth pattern, spindle-cell morphology, and nuclear pleomorphism. Adrenocortical tumors with at least 3 of these features were classified as malignant. Immunohistochemically, adrenocortical tumors expressed melan A (16/19), vimentin (14/26), cytokeratin (11/26), and chromogranin A (9/27), whereas pheochromocytomas expressed chromogranin A (2/2), synaptophysin (2/2), and vimentin (1/2). Both schwannomas expressed CNPase. An immunohistochemistry panel consisting of antibodies against melan A, synaptophysin, and CNPase was considered most useful to classify bovine adrenal tumors. However, the distinction between benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors was based on histologic features as in human medicine.
Veterinary Pathology, 2013, Vol 50, Issue 3, p. 534-542