Experimental induction of hepatic lipidosis in cats.

V. C. Biourge, J. M. Groff, R. J. Munn, C. A. Kirk, T. G. Nyland, V. A. Madeiros, James Morris, Quinton Rogers

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46 Scopus citations


The effect of long-term voluntary fasting on hematologic variables, biochemical profiles, and liver histologic findings was assessed in 15 obese cats (> 40% overweight). Clinical signs and laboratory results consistent with hepatic lipidosis were observed in 12 of 15 cats after 5 to 7 weeks of fasting, and were associated with 30 to 35% reduction of initial body weight. Histologic examination of successive liver biopsy specimens revealed that obesity was not associated with liver parenchymal lipid accumulation, but that fasting resulted in lipidosis in all 15 cats. The long-term fast was associated with an early (after 2 to 4 weeks of fasting) and significant (P < 0.05) reduction in serum urea, glucose, and albumin concentrations, and RBC mass. Fasting for 5 to 7 weeks was associated with a significant (P < 0.05) increase in hepatic-associated enzyme activities and in total and direct serum bilirubin concentrations. Significant (P < 0.05) changes in serum alkaline phosphatase developed as early as 3 weeks before the onset of hyperbilirubinemia. Except for development of hepatic lipidosis, cats appeared to tolerate the fast without other adverse effect. This study confirmed that long-term fasting may induce clinical hepatic lipidosis in obese cats. Fasting appears to induce a syndrome of hepatic lipidosis that is indistinguishable from feline idiopathic hepatic lipidosis and may be an appropriate model to study the pathophysiologic features and treatment of hepatic lipidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1302
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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