February 1971

Dissecting Aneurysms in Turkeys and Man

Arch Surg. 1971;102(2):159-160. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350020069019

In 1952, an Ontario turkey raiser noted that some of his Broad Breasted Bronze birds were dying suddenly between 7 and 11 weeks of age. Particularly affected were larger male birds. At autopsy, the abdominal cavity was filled with blood. The owner purchased 2,500 BBB females from a different hatchery for the 1953 season in an effort to avoid this loss. When they were between 7 and 11 weeks of age, 150 birds (6%) were dead. All of the dead birds were well-nourished and most were above average in weight. Investigation by veterinary physicians at Ontario Veterinary College disclosed another instance of this syndrome in a flock of 16-week-old birds. After many careful necropsy examinations, McSherry and his colleagues established that the birds were dying of aortic rupture caused by dissecting aneurysms.1 There was microscopic evidence of degeneration and neutrophilic infiltration of the media with actual medial necrosis in

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