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J Vet Intern Med. 1993 Jul-Aug;7(4):205-9.

Acute pancreatitis in cats with hepatic lipidosis.

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Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6010.


The purpose of this study was to characterize the incidence, clinical features, and prognosis of acute pancreatitis in cats with hepatic lipidosis. Of 13 cats histologically diagnosed with hepatic lipidosis between July 1988, and November 1989, 5(38%) were also histologically diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. In cats with hepatic lipidosis alone, the signalment, history, physical examination, and clinicopathologic findings were generally indistinguishable from those of cats with concurrent acute pancreatitis except that cats with acute pancreatitis were more likely to be cachectic and to have coagulation abnormalities. Hepatomegaly was seen on abdominal radiographs in both groups. Of the 5 cats with concurrent acute pancreatitis, abdominal ultrasonography detected 1 cat with a hypoechoic pancreas and 5 with peritoneal effusion; those abnormalities were not seen in cats without concurrent acute pancreatitis. Cats with concurrent acute pancreatitis had only a 20% recovery rate, compared with a 50% recovery rate in cats with hepatic lipidosis alone. We conclude that cats with hepatic lipidosis should be rigorously evaluated for concurrent acute pancreatitis because of 1) the rate of disease coincidence, 2) the inability of signalment, history, physical examination, and clinicopathologic findings to adequately distinguish between hepatic lipidosis and acute pancreatitis, 3) the worse prognosis associated with concurrent acute pancreatitis, and 4) the opposing nutritional strategies for hepatic lipidosis and acute pancreatitis.

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