Retrospective liver histomorphological analysis in dogs in instances of clinical suspicion of congenital portosystemic shunt

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Abstract

Introduction: The clinical symptoms of portosystemic shunts (PSSs) and hepatic microvascular dysplasia (HMD) – portal vein hypoplasia (PVH) in dogs are similar. PSSs are abnormal vascular connections between the portal vein system and systemic veins. HMD is a very rare developmental vascular anomaly, recognisable during histopathological examination. The study aim was to assess the prevalence of HMD–PVH and hepatocellular and vascular pathologies in the liver. Material and Methods: Liver biopsies from 140 dogs (of different breeds and both sexes) arousing clinical suspicion of PSS were examined histopathologically. Results: An initial PSS diagnosis was confirmed in 125 dogs (89.29%). HMD–PVH was found in 12.32% of dogs, as an isolated disease in 9.29%, especially in Yorkshire terriers, and with extrahepatic PSS in 6.67%. Histopathological analysis of muscles around sublobular veins showed that HMD cases presented hypertrophy or hypertrophy with fibrosis. In 2.17% of all dogs with liver vascular developmental disorders calcification was visible around vessels (without correlation by degenerative changes in those vessels), suggesting prior onset of deep metabolic disorders. Clinical suspicion of PSS was also formed upon quite different pathological processes in young dogs. Conclusion: Histopathological findings diagnosed the type of vascular anomalies (PSS or HMD–PVH) or other pathological changes conclusively, therefore detailed hepatic histopathology is an indispensable component of the clinical diagnostic process.

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Journal of Veterinary Research

formerly Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy

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