Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Cystic ovarian disease

Synonym(s): corpus luteam, follicle, COD

Contributor(s): Jonathan Statham , James Breen

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Introduction

  • Cause:
    • Follicular cyst: disruption of the normal endocrine estrus cycle resulting in a dominant follicle persisting for over 7 days without ovulation.
    • Luteal cyst: disruption of the normal endocrine estrus cycle resulting in a thick walled luteinized follicular structure persisting for over 7 days without ovulation in the absence of a CL.
  • Signs:
    • Follicular cyst: variable, ranging from frequent intermittent behavioral signs of estrus to more ‘bull like’ behavior, such as mounting and bellowing.
    • Luteal cyst: anestrus behavior.
  • Diagnosis: by history & clinical examination, palpation of the reproductive tract and ultrasound examination, plus hormone assays such as progesterone testing.
  • Treatment:
    • Follicular cyst: intravaginal progesterone, GnRH & ‘LH-like’ hormonal treatments such as hCG.
    • Luteal cyst: PGF2α; intravaginal progesterone & GnRH.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • A hereditary predisposition has been implicated in dairy cattle and incidence is associated with negative energy balance and stress factors in high producing dairy cows.
    • A genetic predisposition to partition glucose into the udder to prioritise lactose synthesis and milk production is characterized by insulin resistance in Holstein cattle Holstein.
  • In normal proestrus, regression of the Corpus Luteum (CL) coincides with development and  maturation of a selected dominant follicle and other follicles are inhibited.
  • In cystic ovarian disease (COD) there is failure of the positive feedback of follicular estrogen on the hypothalamus, via estrogen receptor ‘a’, to release sufficient Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) to trigger an LH surge.
    • IGF-1 acts as a ‘co-gonadotroph’ amplifying the positive feedback to the hypothalamus, depending on appropriate positive metabolic signals.
    • Ovulation therefore fails to occur and the dominant follicle continues to enlarge.
    • Other follicles may grow and form multiple cysts and there may be luteinization of the structure.
  • The cystic ovary remains capable of steroidogenesis and its products vary from estrogens to progesterone and androgens.
    • The actions of the hormones produced are responsible for the changes seen in the genital tract body conformation and behavior of affected cows.
  • In the development of a luteal cyst, the release of LH may be greater than when follicular cysts develop, so that luteinization of the follicle occurs but the level is still insufficient to cause ovulation.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Genetic selection for high milk production has led to a degree of ‘insulin resistance’ in dairy breeds such as Holstein Holstein.
  • Negative energy balance and metabolic compromise associated with insufficient glucose availability is critical.
  • Poor transition management that leads to excessive fat mobilization and fatty liver syndrome contributes to an increased risk of COD.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Kawate N, Watanabe K, Uenaka K, Takahashi M, Inaba T & Tamada H J (2011) Comparison of plasma concentrations of estradiol-17β and progesterone, and conception in dairy cows with cystic ovarian diseases between Ovsynch and Ovsynch plus CIDR timed AI protocols. Reprod dev 57 (2), 267-72 PubMed.
  • Rodr√≠guez F M, Salvetti N R, Panzani C G, Barbeito C G, Ortega H H & Rey F (2011) Influence of insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins-2 and -3 in the pathogenesis of cystic ovarian disease in cattle. Anim reprod sci 128 (1-4), 1-10.  
  • Hooijer G A, Lubbers R B, Ducro B J, van Arendonk J A, Kaal-Lansbergen L M & van der Lende T  (2001) Genetic parameters for cystic ovarian disease in dutch black and white dairy cattle. J dairy sci 84 (1), 286-91 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hartigan P (2004) Reproductive physiology in cattle. In: Bovine medicine – diseases and husbandry of cattle. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. pp 471-507.
  • Boyd H, Barrett D & Mihm M (2004) Problems associated with oestrus cyclicity. In: Bovine medicine – diseases and husbandry of cattle. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. pp 530-551.


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