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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.80 n.4 Pretoria  2009




Use of Ir192 interstitial brachytherapy for an equine malignant dermal schwannoma



M N SaulezI; A VoigtI; J C A SteylII; E van WilpeIII; J KotzenIV; F DanielsV

ISection of Equine Medicine, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies
IISection of Pathology, Department of Paraclinical Studies and
IIISection of Anatomy, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa
IVDepartment of Radiation Oncology, University of Witwatersrand and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital
VDepartment of Radiation Oncology, Steve Biko Academic Hospital




A 10-year-old Hanoverian mare was evaluated for a right buccal swelling that recurred 3 months following surgical resection. Ultrasonographic examination showed a broadly pedunculated subcutaneous mass at the level of 106-109 and 406-409 cheek teeth associated with an erosive mucosal lesion on the inside of the cheek. Histological examination of a biopsy specimen revealed a well-demarcated, malignant, dermal schwannoma. Following subcutaneous placement of platinum coated Ir192 wires under general anaesthesia, low-dose radiation of 5 gray per day was delivered for 14 days. Short-term complications included loss of patency of the right nasolacrimal duct, erythema, dermatitis, leukotrichia and left-sided deviation of the muzzle. Ten months later, there has been no tumour recurrence. Findings suggest that the use of interstitial brachytherapy should be considered for a malignant, dermal schwannoma that has recurred or is not amenable to surgery.

Keywords: horse, implant, iridium-192, radiation therapy



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Received: August 2009
Accepted: November 2009



* A portion of this work was presented at the South African Society of Clinical and Radiation Oncology and the South African Society of Medical Oncology, Cape Town, 2009.
** Author for correspondence. E-mail:

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