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A 14-month-old male Armenian hamster (Cricetulus migratorius) presented with a spontaneous, subcutaneous, firm mass (4.0 × 2.0 × 1.5 cm) on the ventral neck extending towards the cheek pouch causing multifocal small oral ulcerations. This animal was immunized subcutaneously on the dorsal neck for the development of monoclonal antibodies seven months before presentation. The animal was euthanized and necropsy was performed. Histopathology of the mass showed a well demarcated, multilobulated, unencapsulated, highly cellular, neoplastic mass composed of spindle cells arranged in interlacing streams and bundles, with a moderate amount of fibrovascular stroma. The neoplastic cells exhibited indistinct cell borders and a moderate to large amount of eosinophilic, fibrillar cytoplasm, marked anisocytosis and anisokaryosis, binucleated and multinucleated cells, and high mitotic rate. Based on the histomorphologic features of the mass, and the presence of renal tubular hyaline globules and myeloid hyperplasia in the bone marrow, a diagnosis of histiocytic sarcoma was made. The presumptive diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemistry, upon which the neoplastic cells showed strong immunoreactivity for the histiocytic cell markers Iba1 and CD11b. Histiocytic sarcomas have been reported in Syrian (Mesocricetus auratus) and Siberian dwarf (Phodopus sungorus) hamsters but, to our knowledge, the current report represents the first case of histiocytic sarcoma described in an Armenian hamster. It is plausible to consider the animal's experimental immunization history and the development of the histiocytic sarcoma to be related. An association between adjuvanted vaccines and soft-tissue sarcomas has been described in cats and referred to as feline injection-site sarcomas.


Christopher Cheleuitte-Nieves, Sarah V Kitz, Sébastien Monette. First reported case of a histiocytic sarcoma in an Armenian hamster (Cricetulus migratorius). Laboratory animals. 2021 Dec;55(6):560-567

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PMID: 34353145

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