PREVALENCE OF GALLBLADDER SLUDGE IN DOGS AS ASSESSED BY ULTRASONOGRAPHY

Authors

  • Catharina Brömel DR. MED.VET,

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210–1089.
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  • Paul Y. Barthez DVM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210–1089.
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  • Renée Léveillé DVM,

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210–1089.
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  • Peter V. Scrivani DVM

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210–1089.
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  • The study was supported by a fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service, Bonn, Germany.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to P.Y. Barthez, DVM, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 601 Vernon L. Tharp Street, Columbus, OH 43210–1089.

Abstract

Ultrasonography of the gallbladder was performed in 3 groups of dogs: 30 clinically healthy dogs, 50 dogs with hepatobiliary disease, and 50 dogs with diseases other than hepatobiliary disease. The gallbladder was evaluated for the presence of sludge (echogenic material without acoustic shadowing). Maximal gallbladder length, width, height, and area were measured as well as the gallbladder wall thickness. The relative sludge area was calculated as the ratio of sludge area over gallbladder area on longitudinal images. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of gallbladder sludge among healthy dogs (53%), dogs with hepatobiliary diseases (62%), and dogs with other disease (48%). The mean age of dogs with sludge was higher than the mean age of dogs without sludge in dogs with hepatobiliary disease and dogs with other diseases (p ≤0.05). The mean relative sludge area did not differ significantly among the 3 groups. A trend to larger gallbladder dimensions in dogs with sludge compared to dogs without sludge was detected within the 3 groups. The gallbladder wall thickness was not different between dogs with and without sludge within the 3 groups. However, the gallbladder wall was more frequently isoechoic than hyperechoic to the liver in dogs with sludge than in dogs without sludge. The results of this study indicate that gallbladder sludge, in dogs, in not particularly associated with hepatobiliary disease and should be considered an incidental finding.

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