During the routine histologic evaluation of an outbreak of inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) in Mississippi broilers, a high incidence of renal enlargement and glomerulonephropathy was observed in the birds presenting classic hepatic pathology. Characteristic intranuclear adenoviral inclusion bodies were demonstrated in the livers of these birds, and fowl adenovirus was identified by viral isolation and by PCR. The glomerular lesions were consistent with proliferative or membranoproliferative forms of glomerulonephritis. Histomorphometric evaluations were performed to generate a more quantitative analysis of altered glomerular size and cellularity, to detect statistically significant borderline changes, and to get a clearer insight into the incidence of the glomerular alterations. Marked increases in both the average glomerular size (area) and the total glomerular cellularity were observed for the affected glomeruli relative to normal controls. The average glomerular area values for normal glomeruli in the peripheral subcapsular cortical and central cortical kidney regions were 1791 µm2 and 5302 µm2, respectively. In contrast, glomerular measurements for kidneys exhibiting glomerulonephritis by routine histopathology, had average values for the two regions of 4429 µm2 and 11,063 µm2. The average glomerular cell counts for the two regions in controls were 44 and 107 cells/glomeruli, while averages for birds with glomerulonephritis were 85 and 193 cells/glomeruli. The proportion of IBH-associated glomeruli greater than two standard deviations above the mean glomerular size of the normal controls was 52% for the central region and 62% for the peripheral region.
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Vol. 54 • No. 3