Objective To evaluate the efficacy and short term effects of a cellophane banding technique for progressive attenuation of canine single extrahepatic portosystemic shunts.
Design A prospective trial of 11 dogs with single congenital extrahepatic shunts.
Procedure Rectal ammonia tolerance testing and routine biochemical tests were performed preoperatively on all dogs. In seven dogs, preoperative abdominal Doppler ultrasonography was also performed. Exploratory laparotomy revealed a single extrahepatic portocaval shunt in each animal, which was attenuated using a cellophane band with an internal diameter of 2 to 3 mm. The abdomen was closed routinely. Follow-up biochemical analysis and abdominal Doppler ultrasonography or splenoportography were performed postoperatively.
Results The shunt was not amenable to total ligation in 11 dogs, based upon reported criteria. All dogs recovered uneventfully from surgery without evidence of portal hypertension, and showed clinical improvement thereafter. Shunt occlusion was deemed to have occurred in 10 dogs based on resolution of biochemical and/or sonographic abnormalities. One dog continued to have sonographic evidence of portosystemic shunting when evaluated 3 weeks after surgery, despite normal ammonia tolerance, but was lost to subsequent follow-up. Two dogs, in which 3 mm cellophane bands were placed, experienced delayed shunt occlusion.
Conclusion Cellophane banding is simple to perform, and causes progressive attenuation of single extrahepatic shunts in dogs. Further work is needed to determine the maximum diameter of a cellophane band which will produce total attenuation, and the long-term safety and reliability of the treatment.