OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between hepatic steatosis and increase in liver size and resolution of shunting after surgical attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts in dogs.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study.
ANIMALS: Dogs (n = 20) with congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts.
METHODS: Shunts were attenuated using ameroid ring constrictors. Portal blood flow and liver volume were evaluated using computed tomography before and ≥8 weeks after surgery. Hepatic steatosis was quantified by stereological point counting of lipid droplets and lipogranulomas (LG) in liver biopsies stained with Oil-red-O. Associations between steatosis and preoperative liver volume, liver growth after surgery, and development of acquired shunts were evaluated.
RESULTS: Acquired shunts developed in 2 dogs (10%). Dogs with larger preoperative liver volumes relative to bodyweight had fewer lipid droplets per tissue point (P = .019). LG per tissue point were significantly associated with age: 0.019 ± 0.06 for dogs <12 months versus 0.25 ± 0.49 for dogs >12 months (P = .007). There was a significant positive association between liver growth after surgery and the number of LG/month of age in dogs >12 months (P = .003). There was no association between steatosis, presence of macrosteatosis, the number of LG or development of acquired shunts.
CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study suggests that the presence of hepatic lipidosis and LG has no demonstrable effect on development of acquired shunts or the magnitude of increase in liver volume after attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts in dogs.
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