Uremic encephalopathy in a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta): A case report and a brief review of the veterinary literature

J Med Primatol. 2018 Apr 25;10.1111/jmp.12348. doi: 10.1111/jmp.12348. Online ahead of print.


Background: Uremic encephalopathy is uncommon yet is one of the most severe complications of renal failure. We present a case of acute renal failure and associated cerebral and vascular lesions consistent with uremic encephalopathy in a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta).

Methods: A 14-year-old, female, specific-pathogen-free rhesus macaque presented in lateral recumbency, obtunded, severely dehydrated, and hypothermic, with severe azotemia, mild hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hypochloremia, increased anion gap, and hypercholesterolemia. Due to poor prognosis, the animal was euthanized and a complete necropsy was conducted.

Results: The animal had diffuse proximal renal tubular epithelial necrosis and loss; regeneration of tubular epithelium was not observed. There was bilateral necrosis and loss of neurons and glial cells in the hippocampus and deep cerebral cortex with edema and multifocal areas of hemorrhage.

Conclusion: We present the first reported case of uremic encephalopathy in a rhesus macaque and describe the associated cerebral and vascular lesions.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; brain diseases; renal insufficiency; uremia.

Publication types

  • Review