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Evaluation of an endoscopic liver biopsy technique in green iguanas

Stephen J. Hernandez-DiversDepartments of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

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Scott J. StahlStahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services, 111A Center St S, Vienna, VA 22180

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Michael McBrideDepartments of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

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Nancy L. StedmanDepartment of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

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Abstract

Objective—To establish a safe and effective endoscopic technique for collection of liver biopsy specimens from lizards by use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope system that is commonly available in zoologic veterinary practice.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—11 subadult male green iguanas (Iguana iguana).

Procedures—Each lizard was anesthetized, and right-sided coelioscopic examination of the right liver lobe and gallbladder was performed. Three liver biopsy specimens were collected from each lizard by use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope and 1.7-mm (5-F) biopsy forceps. Biopsy samples were evaluated histologically for quality and crush artifact. Ten days following surgery, all iguanas were euthanatized and underwent full necropsy examination.

Results—For all 11 iguanas, the right liver lobe and gallbladder were successfully examined endoscopically, and 3 biopsy specimens of the liver were collected without complications. Mean ± SD durations of anesthesia and surgery were 24 ± 7 minutes and 6.8 ± 1.0 minutes, respectively. At necropsy, there was no evidence of trauma or disease associated with the skin or muscle entry sites, liver, or any visceral structures in any iguana. All 33 biopsy specimens were considered acceptable for histologic interpretation; in most samples, the extent of crush artifact was considered minimal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—By use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope, liver biopsy procedures can be performed safely, swiftly, and easily in green iguanas. Biopsy specimens obtained by this technique are suitable for histologic examination. For evaluation of the liver and biopsy specimen collection in lizards, endoscopy is recommended.

Abstract

Objective—To establish a safe and effective endoscopic technique for collection of liver biopsy specimens from lizards by use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope system that is commonly available in zoologic veterinary practice.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—11 subadult male green iguanas (Iguana iguana).

Procedures—Each lizard was anesthetized, and right-sided coelioscopic examination of the right liver lobe and gallbladder was performed. Three liver biopsy specimens were collected from each lizard by use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope and 1.7-mm (5-F) biopsy forceps. Biopsy samples were evaluated histologically for quality and crush artifact. Ten days following surgery, all iguanas were euthanatized and underwent full necropsy examination.

Results—For all 11 iguanas, the right liver lobe and gallbladder were successfully examined endoscopically, and 3 biopsy specimens of the liver were collected without complications. Mean ± SD durations of anesthesia and surgery were 24 ± 7 minutes and 6.8 ± 1.0 minutes, respectively. At necropsy, there was no evidence of trauma or disease associated with the skin or muscle entry sites, liver, or any visceral structures in any iguana. All 33 biopsy specimens were considered acceptable for histologic interpretation; in most samples, the extent of crush artifact was considered minimal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—By use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope, liver biopsy procedures can be performed safely, swiftly, and easily in green iguanas. Biopsy specimens obtained by this technique are suitable for histologic examination. For evaluation of the liver and biopsy specimen collection in lizards, endoscopy is recommended.

Contributor Notes

Dr. McBride's present address is Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 02907.

Dr. Stedman's present address is Wyeth Research, 1 Burtt Rd, Andover, MA 01810.

The authors thank Karl Storz Veterinary Endoscopy America Inc and BAS Vetronics-Bioanalytical Systems Inc for provision of research equipment.

Address correspondence to Dr. Hernandez-Divers.