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J Vet Intern Med. 2011 Nov-Dec;25(6):1253-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.00831.x. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Utility of endoscopic biopsies of the duodenum and ileum for diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease and small cell lymphoma in cats.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474, USA.



Endoscopic duodenal biopsies are relatively convenient, minimally invasive tests for infiltrative intestinal disorders of cats. Ileal endoscopic biopsies might not be performed because of technical difficulty and effort required to prepare the colon. It is not known whether or not histopathology of feline duodenal and ileal biopsies for detection of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and small cell lymphoma (SC-LSA) provides comparable results.


To evaluate the agreement between endoscopic biopsies of duodenum and ileum in cats with IBD and SC-LSA.


Seventy client-owned cats with gastrointestinal disease and adequate duodenal and ileal tissue biopsies obtained endoscopically.


Retrospective study: Search of medical records of cats with enteropathy and endoscopy. Samples were blinded and re-evaluated by single pathologist (JM) for quality, number of biopsies, and diagnosis according to WSAVA standards. Agreement of IBD and SC-LSA diagnoses among biopsy sites assessed using Cohen's Kappa.


Eighteen of 70 cats (26%) were diagnosed with SC-LSA in duodenum, ileum, or both. Of these 18 cats, 7 (39%) were diagnosed with only duodenal SC-LSA, 8 (44%) were diagnosed with only ileal SC-LSA, and 3 (17%) had SC-LSA in both duodenum and ileum. There was poor agreement on diagnosis between duodenal and ileal biopsies (kappa = 0.23).


Although review by a single pathologist remains a limitation of this study, results suggest that there is a population of cats in which diagnosis of SC-LSA can be found only by evaluation of ileal biopsies. Clinicians should consider performing both upper and lower GI endoscopic biopsies in cats with infiltrative small bowel disease.

Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

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