Necropsy and histopathologic examination of three Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) shot in Niigata, central Japan, revealed goitrous changes in the thyroids. Thyroids had a hypertrophic follicular epithelium, loss or deficiency of luminal colloid, occasional small follicles suggesting hyperplasia, and occasional collapsed follicles. Irregularly shaped follicles were frequent, and hyperemia, deposition of dark pigment, and sporadic lymphoid aggregates were also seen. Chemical analysis simultaneously conducted showed higher than normal levels of dioxins in the liver, muscle, and fat, i.e., polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzo-furans, and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls. The present results, together with those of relevant previous studies, strongly suggest an association between these pollutants and thyroid lesions in the Great Cormorant.
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