National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH)

Topics in Animal Health Research 2000

12. Relationship Between Heart and Liver Lesions of Broiler Chickens That Died of "Ascites", "Heart Failure" and "Others"


  Pathological changes of 120 dead broilers from a flock of 1,000 birds were compared. Macroscopically, they were divided into three pathologic types; "ascites" (retention of ascitic fluid), "heart failure" (right heart dilation and/or hydropericardium without retention of ascitic fluid), and "others" (without "ascites" or "heart failure"). The rates of "ascites", "heart failure" and "others" were 55.8 (67/120), 33.3 (40/120) and 10.8 (13/120)%, respectively. Histologically, cardiac histological changes (myocardial degeneration with calcification and epicardial fibrosis) were seen in 40 of the 67 "ascites" cases (59.7%). Hepatic histological changes (hepatocytic degeneration/necrosis and hepatic capsule fibrosis) was seen in 64 of the 67 "ascites" cases (95.5%). Cardiac histological changes were seen in 24 of the 40 "heart failure" cases (60.0%). Hepatic histological changes were seen in 36 of the 40 "heart failure" cases (90.0%). Six of the 13 "others" had hepatic histological changes but the remaining seven birds had no significant histological changes. "Ascites" and "heart failure" had almost the same percentages of hepatic and cardiac histological changes. This study indicated that two pathological types, "ascites" and "heart failure", may be closely related conditions and that hepatic histological changes may be common and fundamental lesions in the pathogenesis of these pathologic types. (Chronic Diseases Pathology Section, Department of Production Diseases TEL +81-298-38-7843)


  Nakamura et al.: Comparative pathology of heart and liver lesions of broiler chickens that died of "ascites", "heart failure", and "others". Avian Dis., 43:526-532(1999).