A previously undescribed cutaneous paraneoplastic syndrome in a cat with thymoma

Quentin Fournier, Spela Bavcar, Adrian Philbey, Sionagh Smith, Katarina Varjonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background– Exfoliative dermatitis is a well-recognized cutaneous paraneoplastic syndrome (PNS) associated with thymoma in cats, of which the clinical and histopathological presentation has been well characterized.

Objectives – To describe a novel clinical skin manifestation associated with thymoma in a cat

Animal – A 14-year-old neutered female domestic short haired cat

Methods – Physical, abdominal ultrasonographic, thoracic radiographic, ultrasonographic and computed tomographic examinations, histopathologic assessment of the skin and mediastinal mass.

Results – The cat was presented with non-inflammatory alopecia, with a dorsal multifocal distribution. Examination of the alopecic areas using a dermascope indicated an apparent lack of follicular ostia. Histopathological assessment of alopecic areas confirmed follicular and epidermal atrophy, trichilemmal keratinization and mild orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis. Diagnostic imaging revealed a mediastinal mass, which was surgically removed. Histopathological and immunohistopathological examination of the mass was consistent with a thymoma, associated with multiloculated cyst formation and multifocal cholesterol granulomas. Following surgery, hair re-growth was noted in the previously alopecic areas. The cat was euthanized 3.5 months later because of recurrent chylothorax, suspected to be a post-operative complication. The alopecic lesions had markedly improved.

Conclusions and clinical importance – Thymoma-associated PNS might not always manifest as an exfoliative dermatitis, and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of multifocal non-inflammatory alopecia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Early online date25 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Feline
  • Follicular atrophy
  • Alopecia
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes
  • Thymoma


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