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Evaluation of ornithine carbamoyl transferase and other serum and liver-derived analytes in diagnosis of fatty liver and postsurgical outcome of left-displaced abomasum in dairy cows

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  • 1 Clinic of Farm Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • | 2 Laboratory of Clinical Diagnosis and Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • | 3 Clinic of Farm Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • | 4 Clinic of Farm Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • | 5 Laboratory of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • | 6 Clinic of Farm Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate postsurgical outcome in dairy cows with left-displaced abomasum (LDA) with regard to severity of fatty liver and assess the usefulness of preoperative determination of serum ornithine carbamoyl transferase (OCT) activity, bile acids concentration, and other variables for evaluating liver function during the postsurgical convalescence period.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—68 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Blood and liver biopsy specimens were obtained during standing LDA surgery. Liver tissue was examined histologically and classified by severity of fatty change. Serum activities of liver-derived enzymes and concentrations of total lipids, triglycerides, bile acids, glucose, β-hydroxybutyric acid, bilirubin, and nonesterified fatty acids were determined.

Results—Most cows with LDA and cows with severe fatty liver were detected within the first month after calving. Postsurgical outcome was related to severity of fatty liver. All cows that died had severe fatty liver. Serum activities of OCT, aspartate aminotransferase, and glutamate dehydrogenase and serum total bilirubin concentration were sensitive indicators of fatty liver. Serum bile acids concentration was not an accurate indicator of fatty liver.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Postsurgical outcome of cows undergoing surgery to correct LDA was related to fatty liver severity. Assessment of serum activities of OCT, aspartate aminotransferase, and glutamate dehydrogenase and serum total bilirubin concentration is recommended for diagnosis of fatty liver in dairy cows with LDA, whereas determination of bile acids concentration is not. The strong correlation between OCT activity and degree of hepatocellular damage supports use of this enzyme for assessing severity of fatty liver and predicting postsurgical outcome in cows with LDA.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate postsurgical outcome in dairy cows with left-displaced abomasum (LDA) with regard to severity of fatty liver and assess the usefulness of preoperative determination of serum ornithine carbamoyl transferase (OCT) activity, bile acids concentration, and other variables for evaluating liver function during the postsurgical convalescence period.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—68 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Blood and liver biopsy specimens were obtained during standing LDA surgery. Liver tissue was examined histologically and classified by severity of fatty change. Serum activities of liver-derived enzymes and concentrations of total lipids, triglycerides, bile acids, glucose, β-hydroxybutyric acid, bilirubin, and nonesterified fatty acids were determined.

Results—Most cows with LDA and cows with severe fatty liver were detected within the first month after calving. Postsurgical outcome was related to severity of fatty liver. All cows that died had severe fatty liver. Serum activities of OCT, aspartate aminotransferase, and glutamate dehydrogenase and serum total bilirubin concentration were sensitive indicators of fatty liver. Serum bile acids concentration was not an accurate indicator of fatty liver.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Postsurgical outcome of cows undergoing surgery to correct LDA was related to fatty liver severity. Assessment of serum activities of OCT, aspartate aminotransferase, and glutamate dehydrogenase and serum total bilirubin concentration is recommended for diagnosis of fatty liver in dairy cows with LDA, whereas determination of bile acids concentration is not. The strong correlation between OCT activity and degree of hepatocellular damage supports use of this enzyme for assessing severity of fatty liver and predicting postsurgical outcome in cows with LDA.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Panousis.