Objectives: To compare the serum level of hyaluronic acid in dogs with congenital portosystemic shunt with that in healthy dogs and to investigate the perioperative change in serum hyaluronic acid following shunt attenuation.
Methods: Blood samples were obtained from 29 congenital portosystemic shunt dogs before the operation, and 2 and 4 weeks after the operation from 17 and 7 dogs, respectively. The serum hyaluronic acid level of these dogs was measured and compared with that of 10 healthy beagles.
Results: The median preoperative hyaluronic acid level in dogs with congenital portosystemic shunt was significantly elevated compared with that in healthy dogs. Furthermore, the median postoperative hyaluronic acid level significantly decreased compared with the median preoperative levels in congenital portosystemic shunt dogs.
Clinical Significance: In the case of dogs with congenital portosystemic shunt, the reduction of intrahepatic portal blood flow might lower the clearance rate of hyaluronic acid in hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells, so hyaluronic acid clearance could be improved by attenuation of a shunt vessel. Hence, serum hyaluronic acid levels might be useful to evaluate liver function and also have the potential to evaluate successful attenuation of a shunt vessel in dogs with congenital portosystemic shunt. Further investigations are required to clarify whether serum hyaluronic acid offers significant benefits over existing markers such as serum bile acid or ammonia concentrations.