First description of fetal cystic hygroma associated with early equine pregnancy loss
Cystic hygroma (hygroma cysticum) is a malformation that has not yet been described as a cause of early pregnancy loss in equines. The condition is a congenital anomaly occurring during embryogenesis due to a failure in which the primitive lymphatic sac does not reach the venous system at the jugular vein, resulting in a lymphatic stasis that starts in the neck region and continues to the rest of the body. From 2015 to 2020, a total of 5,730 ultrasound examinations were performed in mares from 43 different horse farms and embryo transfer farms when sexing pregnancies. In 12 pregnant mares, a suspected fetal cystic hygroma was diagnosed via transrectal ultrasound performed from day 52 to 75 of pregnancy. Six fetuses were collected and fixed to conduct histopathological and karyotyping. Macroscopic and microscopic analysis supported the suggested diagnosis being the first description of cystic hygroma in equine fetuses and concluded as a cause of pregnancy loss around 65 days of gestation.