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Tropical keratopathy (Florida spots) in cats

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 15:40 authored by Pompei Bolfa, Susyn Kelly, Hannah Wells, Katie Sizeland, Erin Scott, Nigel Kirby, Stephen Mudie, Anabiel Armien, Richard Haverkamp, Patrick Kelly
The authors used microscopy and synchrotron-based small-angle X-ray scattering analysis (SAXS) to describe lesions macroscopically typical of tropical keratopathy (“Florida spots”) from 6 cats on St Kitts. Microscopically, there were varying degrees of epithelial hyperplasia and thinning of the cornea (by 4% to 18%) due to loss of corneal stroma associated with dense accumulations of collagen in the superficial stroma. The collagen fibrils in lesions were wider and had more variable diameters (39.5 ± 5.0 nm, mean ± SD) than in normal corneas (25.9 ± 3.6 nm; P < .01). There were occasional vacuoles (<1 μm) in the corneal epithelial basement membrane but no evidence of inflammation, edema, stromal neovascularization, fibrosis, acid-fast organisms, or structures suggestive of a fungal organism. SAXS analysis showed collagen fibril diameters and variation in size were greater in stroma containing the lesions compared to normal corneas (48.8 ± 4.5 nm vs 35.5 ± 2.6; P < .05). The d-spacing of collagen in the stroma of lesions and normal corneas was the same, but the average orientation index of collagen in lesions was greater (0.428 ± 0.08 vs 0.285 ± 0.03; P < .05). A survey revealed Florida spots lesions were static over time and became less obvious in only 1 of 6 affected cats adopted on St Kitts and taken to areas in the US where lesions are not reported. An anterior stromal collagen disorder with various degrees of epithelial hyperplasia is the pathologic hallmark of lesions clinically identical to Florida spots in cats from St Kitts. A correction has been published: Corrigendum (doi:10.1177/0300985819835782)


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© The Author(s) 2018


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


SAGE Journals

Journal title

Veterinary Pathology




Bolfa, P., Kelly, S. J., Wells, H. C., Sizeland, K. H., Scott, E. M., Kirby, N., … Kelly, P. J. (2018). Tropical keratopathy (Florida spots) in cats. Veterinary Pathology, 55(6), 861–870. doi:10.1177/0300985818789483

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