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Minimal Myopathy in Poultry

By Arnaud J. Van Wettere, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVP, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Pathology, Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University

A minimal myopathy is seen in otherwise normal meat-type poultry. Affected birds show no clinical signs, and their muscles are grossly normal, but microscopically there is mild myofiber degeneration and fat accumulation between myofibers. Focal or multifocal scattered myofibers are hyalinized and mineralized. More severe examples of this lesion contain individual myofiber necrosis, increased fat, and fibroplasia between fibers. No specific cause has been determined for these minimal changes, which have been observed by avian pathologists but are not described in the literature. Minimal myopathy is not an established name for this condition.