Objective—To determine whether metal concentrations in canine liver specimens were influenced by specimen size, assay variability, tissue processing (formalin fixation and deparaffinization), or storage in paraffin blocks.
Sample Population—Liver specimens (fresh frozen and deparaffinized) from 2 dogs with chronic hepatitis (high copper but unremarkable iron concentration [liver 1] and unremarkable copper but high iron concentration [liver 2]) as well as fresh and deparaffinized-archived liver specimens from 20 dogs with various hepatopathies.
Procedures—Fresh frozen liver specimens (obtained via simulated needle-core and wedge biopsy), fresh hepatic tissue, and deparaffinized-archived specimens (0.5 to 14 years old) were analyzed for concentrations of copper, iron, and zinc by atomic absorption flame spectrometry. Clinical severity scores were assigned on the basis of tissue metal concentrations.
Results—Interassay variation of metal standards was < 4%. Measurements of liver tissues on 8 consecutive days yielded high coefficients of variation (3.6% to 50%) reflecting heterogenous histologic metal distribution; variation was highest in liver 1 and deparaffinized-archived tissues. Heterogenous metal distribution was confirmed by histologic evaluation. The largest range of metal concentrations was detected in wedge biopsy specimens. In tissues with high metal concentrations, copper and iron concentrations were significantly lower in needle-core versus wedge biopsy specimens. A higher zinc concentration in deparaffinized-archived specimens masked a low zinc concentration in fresh liver tissue of 10 of 20 (50%) dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Retrospective measurement of copper and iron concentrations but not zinc concentrations in deparaffinized-archived liver specimens provided relevant information. The value of needle-core biopsy specimens for measurement of metal concentrations is questionable.
To measure serum fibroblast growth factor-19 (FGF-19) concentration and gallbladder volume in healthy dogs before and after feeding to determine whether serum FGF-19 concentration increases following gallbladder contraction and to assess FGF-19 stability in blood samples kept under different storage conditions after collection in tubes containing no anticoagulant or in serum separator tubes.
10 healthy dogs of various ages and breeds (30 blood samples and 30 gall-bladder volume measurements).
Serum FGF-19 concentration was measured with a commercially available ELISA. Gallbladder volume was determined ultrasonographically. Blood samples and gallbladder measurements were obtained from the dogs after food had been withheld for 12 hours (baseline) and at 1 and 3 hours after feeding. The stability of serum FGF-19 was assessed in samples collected in tubes containing no anticoagulant or in serum separator tubes and stored at –80°C for variable intervals or 4°C for 1 or 5 days.
Serum FGF-19 concentration was significantly increased from baseline at 1 and 3 hours after feeding. There was a significant decrease in gallbladder volume 1 hour after feeding, compared with baseline findings. Regardless of collection tube used, concentrations of FGF-19 in serum obtained from blood samples that were collected and immediately stored at –80°C differed significantly from concentrations in serum obtained from blood samples that had been collected and stored at 4°C for 5 days.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated that postprandial gallbladder contraction results in increases of serum FGF-19 concentration in healthy dogs. Assessment of circulating FGF-19 concentration could be used to detect disruptions in the enterohepatic-biliary axis in dogs.
Objective—To evaluate differences in hepatic copper concentrations in Labrador Retrievers with and without chronic hepatitis.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Sample—Liver tissue specimens from 36 Labrador Retrievers with chronic hepatitis and 36 age- and sex-matched Labrador Retrievers without chronic hepatitis (control dogs).
Procedures—Liver tissue specimens were obtained during 2 study periods (1980 to 1997 and 1998 to 2010). For each tissue specimen, a histologic score was assigned independently by each of 2 interpreters, and the hepatic copper concentration was qualitatively determined via rhodanine staining and quantitatively determined via atomic absorption spectroscopy.
Results—Mean hepatic copper concentration was significantly higher in dogs with chronic hepatitis (614 μg/g of dry weight [range, 104 to 4,234 μg/g of dry weight]), compared with that in control dogs (299 μg/g of dry weight [range, 93 to 3,810 μg/g of dry weight]), and increased significantly over time. A higher proportion of liver tissue specimens collected during the 1998–2010 study period had hepatic copper concentrations > 400 μg/g of dry weight (the upper limit of the reference range), compared with the proportion of liver tissue specimens collected during the 1980–1997 study period. The qualitative copper score did not accurately predict quantitative hepatic copper concentration in 33% of study dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the increase in hepatic copper concentrations in Labrador Retrievers with and without chronic hepatitis over time may be the result of increased exposure of dogs to environmental copper, most likely via the diet.