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Use of transcolonic portal scintigraphy to evaluate efficacy of cellophane banding of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts in 16 dogs


The University of Melbourne Veterinary Clinic and Hospital, Werribee, Victoria 3030;


Objective  To evaluate the efficacy of cellophane banding of single congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts in dogs using transcolonic portal scintigraphy. To investigate the portal circulation of those dogs with elevated postoperative shunt fractions to determine the cause of the persistent shunting. Further, to evaluate whether presenting signs, clinical pathology findings and liver histopathology are predictive of outcome.

Design  Prospective study of 16 dogs presenting with single congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts.

Procedure  Dogs with single extrahepatic portosystemic shunts attenuated by cellophane banding underwent portal scintigraphy and bile acids tolerance testing pre- and post-operatively. Dogs identified with elevated shunt fractions at 10 weeks post-operatively underwent mesenteric portovenography. Qualitative hepatic histopathology from all dogs was reviewed by a veterinary pathologist and assigned a semi-quantitative score to identify any abnormalities that may predict surgical outcome.

Results  At 10 weeks post cellophane banding, 10 of 16 cases (63%) had normal shunt fractions, whilst six dogs (37%) had increased shunt fractions and seven dogs (44%) had increased serum bile acids. Of these dogs, mesenteric portovenography revealed incomplete closure of the shunt in three dogs (18.6%) and multiple acquired shunts in three dogs (18.6%). Liver histopathology findings were similar for all dogs, regardless of outcome.

Conclusions  Cellophane banding is an efficacious method for complete gradual occlusion of single extrahepatic shunts when the shunt vessel is attenuated to ≤ 3 mm. Transcolonic portal scintigraphy is a reliable method for assessment of shunt attenuation and, unlike serum bile acids, is not influenced by other causes of liver dysfunction.