Objective—To evaluate endoscopic liver biopsy and compare that technique with a standard coeliotomy biopsy technique in fish.
Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.
Animals—30 channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus).
Procedures—10 fish were randomly assigned into control, coeliotomy, and coelioscopy groups. Anesthesia was performed with a recirculating anesthesia machine. Body weight, PCV, and total protein (TP) concentration in blood as well as plasma activities of aspartate aminotransferase, creatinine phosphokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and sorbitol dehydrogenase were measured before and after surgery. Standard ventral coeliotomy or coelioscopy was performed, and the biopsy specimens were scored histologically.
Results—Coeliotomy and coelioscopy procedures were well tolerated without acute deaths. Blood TP concentration and PCV decreased after surgery in the coelioscopy group because of intracoelomic fluid administration to aid visualization. Minor changes in activities for hepatic and muscular enzyme activities were apparent, but were not significantly different between the coelioscopy and coeliotomy groups. Coelioscopy and coeliotomy yielded biopsy specimens of similar diagnostic quality. However, coelioscopy permitted a more extensive evaluation of the viscera, and all 10 surgical wounds healed completely, compared with severe wound dehiscence in 3 of 10 fish that underwent coeliotomy.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Both coelioscopy and coeliotomy were capable of yielding antemortem liver biopsy specimens of diagnostic quality in catfish. Coelioscopy permitted a more detailed examination of the coelomic viscera through a smaller surgical incision, was less traumatic, and resulted in decreased wound dehiscence.