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Objective— To investigate the relationship between preoperative liver size, bodyweight, and tolerance to shunt occlusion in dogs with congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunt(s) (CPSS).

Study Design— Longitudinal cohort study.

Animals— Dogs with CPSS (n=35).

Methods— Ultrasonography was used to measure preoperative maximum transverse dimension of the liver (TS) of each dog. Intraoperative portal pressures were measured, before and after CPSS occlusion, via a jejunal vein catheter. Tolerance to shunt occlusion was judged on gross visceral observations, and on changes in portal pressure, central venous and mean arterial pressures.

Results— TS was significantly related to bodyweight (P<.05). Mean ratios for TS/bodyweight were calculated for dogs tolerant and intolerant of acute complete shunt occlusion. Dogs tolerant to occlusion had significantly higher TS/bodyweight ratios than dogs intolerant to occlusion (P=.025). Dogs with a TS/bodyweight ratio of >7 were more likely to tolerate CPSS occlusion than dogs with a TS/bodyweight ratio of <5 (P=.036). A model was generated to predict portal pressure rise after shunt occlusion, based on liver dimensions and bodyweight (R=0.668). Intestinal oxygenation did not correlate significantly with tolerance to CPSS occlusion (P=.29).

Conclusion— In dogs with CPSS, liver size (relative to bodyweight) is significantly greater (P=.025) in dogs that are tolerant of full ligation than intolerant of occlusion.

Clinical Relevance— Preoperative measurement of bodyweight and liver size help indicate the likelihood of tolerance to acute complete occlusion of CPSS in dogs.