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Reese, Sven ORCID: 0000-0002-4605-9791; Müller, M.; Kurzke, E.; Hermanns, W.; Kraft, W. (2002): Prävalenz morphologischer Schilddrüsenveränderungen bei der Katze. In: Tierärztliche Praxis / K, Kleintiere, Vol. 30, No. 4: pp. 274-281
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In the past, diseases of the feline thyroid gland were considered to be rare in Germany. As recently reports about feline hyperthyroidism increased, the aim of our studies was to analyze the prevalence of morphological alterations in feline thyroid glands by macroscopic, volumetric and histopathological means. For this purpose the thyroid glands of 101 cats (age one to 23 years), which had died or had to be euthanized, were examined. Our studies showed a high prevalence of morphological alterations in the feline thyroid gland with nodular hyperplasia and adenomas being the most frequent diseases. On average the volume of these thyroid glands was 2.5fold increased. The prevalence of nodular goiter was strongly correlated with age. Whereas 76% of the cats between 13 and 16 years showed nodular goiter, merely 12.5% of young animals (one to four years) revealed very slight morphological alterations. The etiology of feline nodular goiter is largely unknown. The histopathological findings and their obvious correlation to age indicate that feline nodular goiter may be caused by chronic and moderate iodine deficiency. It is clinically important as it progresses to hyperthyroidism with distinct clinical signs in older cats. The results of our study imply that malfunction of the thyroid gland in thecat - especially hyperthyroidism - is much more frequent in Germany than it is diagnosed up to date. Therefore it is essential to more intensely consider this disease as differential diagnosis in older cats.