Background: Renal cystic disease arising from various etiologies results in fluid-filled cavities within the kidneys. Moreover, preexisting renal dysfunction has been shown to exacerbate multiple pathologies. While swine bred for biomedical research are often clinically inspected for illness/parasites, more advanced diagnostics may aid in uncovering underlying renal abnormalities. Methods: Computed tomography was performed in 54 female prepubertal Yorkshire swine to characterize renal cysts; urine and blood chemistry, and histology of cysts were also performed. Results: Digital reconstruction of right and left kidneys demonstrated that roughly one-third of the animals (17/54; 31%) had one or more renal cyst. Circulating biomarkers of renal function were not different between animals that had cysts and those that did not. Alternatively, urinary glucose (P =.03) was higher and sodium (P =.07) tended to be lower in animals with cysts compared to animals without, with no differences in protein (P =.14) or potassium (P =.20). Aspiration of cystic fluid was feasible in two animals, which revealed that the cystic fluid urea nitrogen (97.6 ± 28.7 vs 911.3 ± 468.2 mg/dL), potassium (29.8 ± 14.4 vs 148.2 ± 24.85 mmol/L), uric acid (2.55 ± 1.35 vs 11.4 ± 5.65 mg/dL), and creatinine (60.34 ± 17.26 vs 268.99 ± 95.79 mg/dL) were much lower than in the urine. Histology demonstrated a cyst that markedly compresses the adjacent cortex and is lined by a single layer of flattened epithelium, bounded by fibrous connective tissue which extends into the parenchyma. There is tubular atrophy and loss in these areas. Conclusion: This study provides valuable insight for future studies focusing on kidney function in swine bred for biomedical research.
- computed tomography
- renal dysfunction