A Quarter Horse gelding presented with pathology consistent with hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA) but without the familial association typically present with this disease. Grossly, lesions exhibited either a firm, scar-like appearance or a potential space between the superficial and deep dermis. Both lesioned and non-lesioned skin showed evidence of edema and collagen fragmentation, whereas lesions were also characterized by hemorrhage and inflammation. Genetic testing was performed by three independent laboratories, each using different methods to detect the mutation described in the PPIB gene, previously shown to be associated with HERDA. No mutations in the PPIB gene were revealed by genetic testing, either at the known location of the point mutation or at any other location in the coding sequence. These findings are suggestive of a diagnosis of HERDA or hyperelastosis cutis in the absence of the well-described, putatively causative mutation in the PPIB gene. We propose that, whereas HERDA refers specifically to a familial disease caused by a mutation in the PPIB gene, similar symptoms may in fact be caused by a syndrome resulting from either inherited or spontaneous mutations in any of a number of collagen-processing genes. We conclude that Ehlers-Danlos syndrome be diagnosed in horses of any breed with HERDA-like pathology without the causative mutation.
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