Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Vet Intern Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;20(1):13-9.

Diagnostic value of fasting plasma ammonia and bile acid concentrations in the identification of portosystemic shunting in dogs.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Portosystemic shunting occurs frequently either as congenital anomalies of the portal vein (PVA) or as acquired shunting (AS) due to portal hypertension secondary to parenchymal liver disease or portal vein thrombosis. The 2 most commonly used screening tests for portosystemic shunting are bile acid and plasma ammonia concentrations. The purpose of this study was to compare the 12-hour fasting plasma ammonia (AMM) and bile acid concentration (BA) as tests for diagnosing portosystemic shunting. Medical records of 337 dogs were used in which AMM and BA were measured simultaneously and in which portosystemic shunting was confirmed or excluded. These dogs were divided into 2 groups (group 1: portosystemic shunting present, n = 153, and group 2: portosystemic shunting absent, n = 184). Group 1 was subdivided into 2 subgroups (group 1a: PVA, n = 132 and group 1b: AS, n = 21). The sensitivity of AMM in detecting PVA was 100% and of BA was 92.2%. For portosystemic shunting in general (PVA or AS), the sensitivity of AMM was 98% and that of BA was 88.9%. The specificity in the total population of AMM was 89.1% and that of BA was 67.9%. If only dogs with liver diseases were included with (n = 153) or without (n = 28) shunting, the specificity of AMM to detect shunting was 89.3% and that of BA was 17.9%. In conclusion, AMM is a highly sensitive and specific parameter to detect PVA and portosystemic shunting in a general population and in dogs with liver disease, whereas BA is somewhat less sensitive and considerably less specific.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk