Clinical work was done at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
A Comparison of Hepatic Sonographic Features and Histopathologic Diagnosis in Canine Liver Disease: 138 Cases
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2013
Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 27, Issue 4, pages 806–813, July/August 2013
How to Cite
Kemp, S.D., Panciera, D.L., Larson, M.M., Saunders, G.K. and Werre, S.R. (2013), A Comparison of Hepatic Sonographic Features and Histopathologic Diagnosis in Canine Liver Disease: 138 Cases. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 27: 806–813. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12091
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 14 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 29 AUG 2012
- Nodular regeneration;
Ultrasound examination is commonly used in the diagnostic evaluation of liver disease in dogs.
To determine if hepatic sonographic features were predictive of findings on liver histopathology. We hypothesized that there would be a relationship between sonographic features and the category of liver disease based on histologic assessment.
One hundred and thirty-eight dogs in which the liver was evaluated by both abdominal ultrasound examination and histopathologic examination. Twenty-five dogs were included in each of the following categories based on histopathology: normal, degenerative, vascular, inflammatory, and neoplasia. Thirteen dogs had nodular regeneration.
Retrospective study. Medical records of dogs from 2005 to 2010 were searched for cases in which the liver was evaluated by abdominal ultrasound examination as well as by histopathology. After independent evaluation of ultrasound images, the recorded sonographic features were analyzed to identify abnormalities associated with each histopathologic diagnosis or degree of fibrosis.
Sixty-four percent of sonographically unremarkable livers had histologic abnormalities. Both microhepatia and the identification of abnormal vasculature were significantly associated with a histopathologic diagnosis of vascular disease. Hepatic masses were significantly associated with a diagnosis of neoplasia. Dilated common bile duct and thickened gall bladder wall were significantly associated with hepatitis. There were no sonographic findings consistently present with hepatic fibrosis.
Conclusion and Clinical Importance
Although some ultrasonographic findings, including masses, microhepatia, anomalous veins, and biliary changes, are associated with specific histopathologic abnormalities, sonographic findings are inconsistently detected in many disorders. Overall, hepatic ultrasonographic abnormalities have substantial limitations in predicting the underlying disease.