A retrospective study of the clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical manifestations of 5 dogs originally diagnosed histologically as necrotizing scleritis

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To describe the clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical manifestations of canine necrotizing scleritis.


A retrospective examination of the clinical records and samples of ocular tissues from five dogs with a histological diagnosis ‘necrotizing scleritis’ was completed. Archived, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples and two control globes were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, Gram, periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) and Masson trichrome stains, and they were immunohistochemically labeled for CD3, CD18, and CD20.


Of the five cases reviewed, only two could be confirmed as idiopathic necrotizing scleritis. The other three cases were retrospectively diagnosed as unilateral focal, non-necrotizing scleritis, one as episcleritis and the third was scleritis secondary to a proptosed globe based on our retrospective clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical evaluations. In these two cases, idiopathic necrotizing scleritis manifested as a bilateral, progressive, inflammatory disease of the sclera and cornea that induces significant uveitis. Light microscopic examination confirmed collagen degeneration and granulomatous inflammation. There was no evidence for an infectious etiology based on Gram's and PAS stainings. Immunohistochemical labeling revealed a predominance of B cells in idiopathic, bilateral necrotizing scleritis. Tinctorial staining abnormalities with Masson's trichrome stain were present in scleral collagen of the two cases with idiopathic necrotizing scleritis as well as a case of secondary traumatic scleritis.


Based on a limited number of cases, idiopathic canine necrotizing scleritis shares similar histopathological features with non-necrotizing scleritis and episcleritis; however, necrotizing scleritis is B-cell-dominated and bilateral, and significant collagen alterations manifest with Masson's trichrome stain.

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