Pulmonary hypertension syndrome (PHS), also known as ascites, in broiler chickens prevailed in the local area of Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, and was investigated epidemiologically, serologically, and pathologically. PHS developed in chickens older than 35 days of age when rapid increase of body weight started. Approximately 90% of affected birds were males, in which weight increase was greater than in females. Serologic test revealed that PHS broilers had an increase of hematocrit value. Pathologic studies indicated that the heart of affected birds had an obese-induced pressure and cold exposure triggered congestion in the right ventricle/cava and an increase in peritoneal fluid. These changes were consistent with the previous reports of PHS, so we designed the experiment of effects on cold-induced PHS birds in a temperature-controlled house. After the 10 PHS birds at 55 days were reared for 14 days in a temperature-controlled house at 20 ± 5 C, ascites disappeared in eight birds and hematocrit values decreased to normal range in nine birds. Our finding indicated that temperature-controlled environment may be one solution to reduce mortality in PHS birds.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4