Pathogenesis and predisposing factors of cystic ovarian disease

Cystic Ovarian Disease (COD) and follicular persistency can be described as an Anovulatory condition with Follicle Growth to Ovulatory or Larger Size of Follicle (Wiltbank 2002).

Essentially the dominant follicle from the previous follicular wave persists and does not ovulate, consecutive follicular waves also do not reach ovulation. Cows with ovarian cysts (anovulatory follicular structures) therefore have ovarian follicular waves similar to those of cows that ovulate (normal cows) at the end of oestrus, but these follicles fail to ovulate.

The physiological cause is the abscence of an LH surge that normally triggers ovulation.

Factors predisposing to COD

  • metabolic diseases (ketosis, acidosis)
  • excessive negative energy balance
  • high productivity
  • retained placenta, endometritis
  • dystocia, pregnancy pathology stress genetics
  • dystocia, pregnancy pathology
  • stress
  • genetics

Figure 1: Pathogenesis of follicular persistency and COD in cattle

pathogenesis of COD in cattle

It is now clear that in the background of this condition lie subluteal levels of progesterone during the natural (associated with high production and/or negative energy balance) or artificial luteal phase (IUD) (Silvia et al., 2002, Wiltbank 2002).