Ischemic myelopathy caused by fibrocartilaginous embolism in a horse

ABSTRACT: This report described clinical, epidemiological, and pathological aspects of ischemic myelopathy caused by fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) in a 10-year-old, mixed breed gelding. Clinically, the horse presented acute hind limbs paralysis, with a clinical course of approximately 24 hours. At necropsy, no gross lesions were observed. Cross-sections of the spinal cord revealed focally extensive areas of malacia from the T10 to L4 segments. Focally extensive areas of liquefactive necrosis involving the gray matter and adjacent white matter were observed on histologic sections. The lumen of multiple blood vessels in the periphery of the necrotic areas was occluded by fibrocartilaginous emboli that strongly stained with alcian blue. Clinical signs, gross necropsy, and histological findings observed in this case were identical to those described in the literature for ischemic myelopathy caused by FCE in the horse and other species.