Hepatic lesions associated with iron accumulation in captive kori bustards ( Ardeotis kori)

Vet Pathol. 2022 Jan;59(1):164-168. doi: 10.1177/03009858211035386. Epub 2021 Aug 24.


There are anecdotal reports of iron storage disease in captive kori bustards (Ardeotis kori), but detailed descriptions of this disease have not been reported. The goals of this retrospective, multi-institutional study were to (1) describe microscopic findings associated with iron accumulation in postmortem tissues of kori bustards and (2) use an adapted grading scale to score iron accumulation and associated hepatic lesions. Tissue sections from 19 adult captive kori bustards (age range 3-28 years; 12 males and 7 females) were evaluated histologically with hematoxylin and eosin, Masson's trichrome, and Prussian blue stains, and scored for iron accumulation. Hemochromatosis was diagnosed in cases with iron storage (in hepatocytes and/or Kupffer cells) and concurrent parenchymal damage (defined as having both necrosis and fibrosis). Hemosiderosis was diagnosed in animals with evidence of iron storage without necrosis or fibrosis. Ten of the 19 cases (age range 8-27 years; 7 males and 3 females) were diagnosed with hemochromatosis, including 6 with mild disease, 3 with moderate disease, and 1 with severe disease. Histologic evidence of iron accumulation was also identified in kidney, intestinal tract, adrenal gland, and spleen, but there were no associations between severity of iron accumulation in the liver and accumulation in other organs.

Keywords: hemochromatosis; hemosiderosis; iron storage disease; kori bustard (Ardeotis kori); liver.