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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 May 15;232(10):1511-4. doi: 10.2460/javma.232.10.1511.

Histologic examination of hepatic biopsy samples as a prognostic indicator in dogs undergoing surgical correction of congenital portosystemic shunts: 64 cases (1997-2005).

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.



To determine whether results of histologic examination of hepatic biopsy samples could be used as an indicator of survival time in dogs that underwent surgical correction of a congenital portosystemic shunt (PSS).


Retrospective case series.


64 dogs that underwent exploratory laparotomy for an extrahepatic (n = 39) or intrahepatic (25) congenital PSS.


All H&E-stained histologic slides of hepatic biopsy samples obtained at the time of surgery were reviewed by a single individual, and severity of histologic abnormalities (ie, arteriolar hyperplasia, biliary hyperplasia, fibrosis, cell swelling, lipidosis, lymphoplasmacytic cholangiohepatitis, suppurative cholangiohepatitis, lipid granulomas, and dilated sinusoids) was graded. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to determine whether each histologic feature was associated with survival time.


Median follow-up time was 35.7 months, and median survival time was 50.6 months. Thirty-eight dogs were alive at the time of final follow-up; 15 had died of causes associated with the PSS, including 4 that died immediately after surgery; 3 had died of unrelated causes; and 8 were lost to follow-up. None of the histologic features examined were significantly associated with survival time.


Findings suggested that results of histologic examination of hepatic biopsy samples obtained at the time of surgery cannot be used to predict long-term outcome in dogs undergoing surgical correction of a PSS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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