Bartels T, Brinkmeier J, Portmann S, et al.
The crested breed of domestic duck (Anas platyrhynchos f. dom.) has been described as a variety which has high pre- and postnatal mortalities, malformations in skull and brain anatomy, and several central nervous deficiencies. In addition, intracranial tissue accumulations have been diagnosed in purebred Crested ducks. The incidence, heredity and inheritance of these accumulations as well as their pathogenesis are still generally unknown. The aims of this study were to examine the head of Crested ducks, plain-headed duck breeds, and their crossbreeding relating to the incidence of intracranial alterations. These examinations were performed using magnetic resonance imaging. We found a high incidence of intracranial tissue accumulations in domestic ducks with feather crests. Creasted ducks had more intracranial tissue deposits than plain-headed ducks (p < 0.001). In the present study a correlation between the volume of the crest cushion and the volume of the intracranial tissue deposit could not be found (r = 0.014). Some of the Crested ducks had encephaloceles in addition to the crest cushion.