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Vet J. 2005 Jul;170(1):141-3.

Common bile duct obstruction due to a duodenal gastrinoma in a dog.

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  • 1Pronto Soccorso Veterinario, Via Defendente 29/A, 26900 Lodi, Italy.


In dogs gastrinomas are rare endocrine neoplasms that have always been reported to arise from the pancreas. We report here what we believe to be the first case of a duodenal gastrinoma in a dog. A nine-year-old, male, Pekinese dog was presented with a three-day history of anorexia, vomiting and mucous diarrhoea. Clinical examination and laboratory findings suggested the presence of a severe hepatobiliary disorder. Abdominal ultrasonography showed a diffuse increase in echogenicity of the liver, with severe gallbladder dilation and marked dilation of the cystic duct, common bile duct and extrahepatic bile ducts. Based on these findings, an extrahepatic biliary tract obstruction (EBTO) of unknown cause was suspected. At laparotomy, the gallbladder and the extrahepatic bile ducts appeared severely dilated. The gallbladder was tense and could not be compressed suggesting an outflow obstruction. The duodenum at the level of the common duct orifice appeared slightly thickened and severely hardened for a length of 1 cm. Biopsies from the duodenum and liver were obtained and a cholecystoduodenostomy was performed. The duodenal biopsy revealed severe fibrosis of the submucosa and a infiltrate of small pockets and cords of round to polygonal cells with granular cytoplasm. Based on this appearance the differential diagnoses included neuroendocrine tumours and poorly differentiated carcinoma. Despite surgery and supportive therapy the dog continued to be anorexic and to vomit 3-6 times daily. After euthanasia and necropsy, histopathology showed the presence of a neuroendocrine neoplasia involving the duodenal wall with focal invasion of the adjacent pancreas and small liver metastases. On immunohistochemistry, the cytoplasm of approximately 90% of neoplastic cells intensely expressed neuron specific enolase and gastrin. These findings were consistent with a diagnosis of gastrinoma.

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