Neck Kaposiform haemangioendothelioma in a Fischer's lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)

Giacomo Rossi, Livio Galosi, Sara Berardi, Maria Assunta Piano, Patrizia Robino, Timothy Rose, Maria Luisa Calabrò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A six-year-old female Fischer's lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) presented at necropsy with a cutaneous mass on the neck, 3.5 cm in diameter, yielding and with blood content. Histopathological findings showed a neoplasm characterized by proliferation of vascular endothelial cells. The histology of the mass revealed a multinodular, focally infiltrating tumor. Deeper dermal nodules were made of spindle cells forming vascular slits reminiscent of the histology seen in Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). More superficially located dermal nodules consisted of small blood vessels, with histology resembling capillary hemangioma. The spindle cells and capillaries were strongly positive for Vimentin, endothelial cell marker CD31, and negative for sarcomeric α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Intravascular platelet trapping and Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive hyaline globules were also observed. Differential diagnosis included Kaposi's sarcoma, capillary haemangioma, spindle cell haemangioendothelioma, and epithelioid haemangioendothelioma. Based on morphological and immunohistochemical findings, the tumor was diagnosed as a cutaneous Kaposiform haemangioendothelioma (KHE), a rare, low-grade malignant vascular neoplasm. Other organs showed no abnormalities. PCR amplifications, conducted using Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-specific primers and degenerate sets of primers designed to detect and characterize members of the Herpesviridae, on DNA extracted from tumor tissue and from whole blood failed to amplify any KSHV-related sequence. Moreover, no specific signal was obtained using primers for detection of psittacine herpesvirus, known to be linked to Pacheco's disease in parrots. To the best of our knowledge, this unusual case is the third report of KHE in a non-human animal species, the first described in a bird.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-115
Number of pages4
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Agapornis fischeri
  • Fischer's Lovebird
  • Herpesvirus
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma
  • Vascular tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Neck Kaposiform haemangioendothelioma in a Fischer's lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this