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Myocardial Calcification in Captive Grouper Epinephelus Aeneus



Naomi Eidelman, A Colorni, Jirun Sun, M.C. Fishbein, A Diamant


A case of myocardial calcification is described in the Mediterranean white grouper, Epinephelus aeneus, cultured as broodstock in Eilat (Israel, Red Sea). Large calcified nodules and scar tissue were observed in the ventricular tissues. The chemical composition of the nodules, characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared microspectroscopy in reflectance mode (FTIR-RM) in a position resolved fashion and powder X-ray Diffraction (XRD), was consistent with protein-free carbonate apatite, the inorganic constituent of bone in higher vertebrates. Absence of collagen in the nodules, however, seems to rule out a cell-regulated, osteogenic calcification. It is hypothesized that an unidentified lesion occurred in the grouper's heart acting as a predisposing factor and that the calcification was a flawed attempt of compensatory repair. In it, calcium and phosphate ions precipitating from the bloodstream, possibly as the result of deficiency in physiological calcification inhibitors, gradually impregnated the heart tissue. With the crystalline nodules embedded in the ventricular tissues growing in size and number, the fish presumably suffered from a prolonged cardiac insufficiency, culminating in heart rupture and consequent lethal hemorrhage.
Journal of Structural Biology


Apatite, Calcification, Grouper, Heart, FTIR microspectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray microcomputed tomography


Eidelman, N. , Colorni, A. , Sun, J. , Fishbein, M. and Diamant, A. (2009), Myocardial Calcification in Captive Grouper Epinephelus Aeneus, Journal of Structural Biology, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created June 1, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017