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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the accuracy of digitally scanned rhodanine-stained liver biopsy specimens for determination of hepatic copper concentration and compare results with qualitatively assigned histologic copper scores in dogs.

Sample—353 liver biopsy specimens from dogs.

Procedures—Specimens (n = 139) with quantified copper concentration ranging from 93 to 6,900 μg/g were allocated to group 1 (< 400 μg/g [37]), group 2 (401 to 1,000 μg/g [27]), group 3 (1,001 to 2,000 μg/g [34]), and group 4 (> 2,001 μg/g [41]); stained with rhodanine; and digitally scanned and analyzed with a proprietary positive pixel algorithm. Measured versus calculated copper concentrations were compared, and limits of agreement determined. Influence of nodular remodeling, fibrosis, or parenchymal loss on copper concentration was determined by digitally analyzing selected regions in 17 specimens. After method validation, 214 additional liver specimens underwent digital scanning for copper concentration determination. All sections (n = 353) were then independently scored by 2 naive evaluators with a qualitative scoring schema. Agreement between assigned scores and between assigned scores and tissue copper concentrations was determined.

Results—Linear regression was used to develop a formula for calculating hepatic copper concentration ≥ 400 μg/g from scanned sections. Copper concentrations in unremodeled specimens were significantly higher than in remodeled specimens. Qualitative scores widely overlapped among quantitative copper concentration groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Calculated copper concentrations determined by means of digital scanning of rhodanine-stained liver sections were highly correlated with measured values and more accurate than qualitative copper scores, which should improve diagnostic usefulness of hepatic copper concentrations and assessments in sequential biopsy specimens.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine total glutathione (GSH) and glutathione disulfide (GSSG) concentrations in liver tissues from dogs and cats with spontaneous liver disease.

Sample Population—Liver biopsy specimens from 63 dogs and 20 cats with liver disease and 12 healthy dogs and 15 healthy cats.

Procedure—GSH was measured by use of an enzymatic method; GSSG was measured after 2-vinylpyridine extraction of reduced GSH. Concentrations were expressed by use of wet liver weight and concentration of tissue protein and DNA.

Results—Disorders included necroinflammatory liver diseases (24 dogs, 10 cats), extrahepatic bile duct obstruction (8 dogs, 3 cats), vacuolar hepatopathy (16 dogs), hepatic lipidosis (4 cats), portosystemic vascular anomalies (15 dogs), and hepatic lymphosarcoma (3 cats). Significantly higher liver GSH and protein concentrations and a lower tissue DNA concentration and ratio of reduced GSH-to-GSSG were found in healthy cats, compared with healthy dogs. Of 63 dogs and 20 cats with liver disease, 22 and 14 had low liver concentrations of GSH (µmol) per gram of tissue; 10 and 10 had low liver concentrations of GSH (nmol) per milligram of tissue protein; and 26 and 18 had low liver concentrations of GSH (nmol) per microgram of tissue DNA, respectively. Low liver tissue concentrations of GSH were found in cats with necroinflammatory liver disease and hepatic lipidosis. Low liver concentrations of GSH per microgram of tissue DNA were found in dogs with necroinflammatory liver disease and cats with necroinflammatory liver disease, extrahepatic bile duct occlusion, and hepatic lipidosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Low GSH values are common in necroinflammatory liver disorders, extrahepatic bile duct occlusion, and feline hepatic lipidosis. Cats may have higher risk than dogs for low liver GSH concentrations. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1187–1197)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the influence of dietary supplementation with l-carnitine on metabolic rate, fatty acid oxidation, weight loss, and lean body mass (LBM) in overweight cats undergoing rapid weight reduction.

Animals—32 healthy adult neutered colony-housed cats.

Procedures—Cats fattened through unrestricted ingestion of an energy-dense diet for 6 months were randomly assigned to 4 groups and fed a weight reduction diet supplemented with 0 (control), 50, 100, or 150 μg of carnitine/g of diet (unrestricted for 1 month, then restricted). Measurements included resting energy expenditure, respiratory quotient, daily energy expenditure, LBM, and fatty acid oxidation. Following weight loss, cats were allowed unrestricted feeding of the energy-dense diet to investigate weight gain after test diet cessation.

Results—Median weekly weight loss in all groups was ≥ 1.3%, with no difference among groups in overall or cumulative percentage weight loss. During restricted feeding, the resting energy expenditure-to-LBM ratio was significantly higher in cats that received l-carnitine than in those that received the control diet. Respiratory quotient was significantly lower in each cat that received l-carnitine on day 42, compared with the value before the diet began, and in all cats that received l-carnitine, compared with the control group throughout restricted feeding. A significant increase in palmitate flux rate in cats fed the diet with 150 μg of carnitine/g relative to the flux rate in the control group on day 42 corresponded to significantly increased stoichiometric fat oxidation in the l-carnitine diet group (> 62% vs 14% for the control group). Weight gain (as high as 28%) was evident within 35 days after unrestricted feeding was reintroduced.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary l-carnitine supplementation appeared to have a metabolic effect in overweight cats undergoing rapid weight loss that facilitated fatty acid oxidation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and selenium in several commercially available dry dog foods and compare these with current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommendations for maintenance of healthy dogs.

Design—Descriptive study.

Sample—45 over-the-counter dry foods formulated for maintenance of healthy dogs (ie, maintenance foods) and 5 therapeutic dry foods formulated for dogs with hepatic or renal disease.

Procedures—Mineral concentrations were measured via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy and compared with AAFCO-recommended minimum and maximum values.

Results—Most (39/45) maintenance foods were in compliance with AAFCO recommendations for all mineral concentrations evaluated. Calcium concentration was > 7. 1 g/1,000 kcal of metabolizable energy (ME) in 4 of 45 maintenance foods, and phosphorus concentration was > 4.6 g/1,000 kcal ME in 3 of these; 2 maintenance foods contained < 34 mg of zinc/1,000 kcal ME. These values were not within AAFCO-recommended ranges. Calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in foods formulated for dogs with renal disease was above, and copper concentration in foods formulated for dogs with hepatic disease was below, recommended ranges for healthy dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Calcium concentrations exceeded recommended limits in some maintenance foods labeled for all life stages, underscoring the need to feed diets appropriately formulated for specific life stages, particularly for large- and giant-breed puppies. Studies investigating the bioavailability of minerals are necessary before firm recommendations can be made.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize clinical features, comorbidities, frequency of bacterial isolation, and survival time in cats with suppurative cholangitis-cholangiohepatitis syndrome (S-CCHS).

ANIMALS

168 client-owned cats with S-CCHS.

PROCEDURES

Data were prospectively (1980 to 2019) collected regarding clinical features, comorbidities, bacterial infection, illness duration, and treatments. Variables were evaluated for associations with survival time.

RESULTS

Median age of cats was 10.0 years, with no breed or sex predilection observed. Common clinical features included hyporexia (82%), hyperbilirubinemia (80%), lethargy (80%), vomiting (80%), jaundice (67%), weight loss (54%), and hypoalbuminemia (50%). Comorbidities included extrahepatic bile duct obstruction (53%), cholelithiasis (42%), cholecystitis (40%), and ductal plate malformation (44%) as well as biopsy-confirmed inflammatory bowel disease (60/68 [88%]) and pancreatitis (41/44 [93%]). Bacterial cultures were commonly positive (69%) despite prebiopsy antimicrobial administration in most cats. Of surgically confirmed choleliths, diagnostic imaging identified only 58%. Among 55 cats with “idiopathic pancreatitis,” 28 (51%) were documented to have transiting choleliths, and 20 had pancreatic biopsies confirming pancreatitis. Cholelithiasis (with or without bile duct obstruction) and cholecystectomy were associated with survival advantages. Survival disadvantages were found for leukocytosis, ≥ 2-fold increased alkaline phosphatase, and hyperbilirubinemia. Cholecystoenterostomy had no survival impact. Cats with ductal plate malformations were significantly younger at diagnosis and death than other cats. Chronic treatments with antimicrobials, S-adenosylmethionine, and ursodeoxycholic acid were common postbiopsy.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

S-CCHS in cats was associated with bacterial infection and various comorbidities and may be confused with pancreatitis. Surgically correctable morbidities (ie, cholecystitis, cholecystocholelithiasis) and cholecystectomy provided a significant survival advantage.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the diagnostic value of protein C (PC) for detecting hepatobiliary disease and portosystemic shunting (PSS) in dogs.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—238 clinically ill dogs with (n = 207) and without (31) hepatobiliary disease, including 105 with and 102 without PSS.

Procedures—Enrollment required routine hematologic, serum biochemical, and urine tests; measurement of PC activity; and a definitive diagnosis. Total serum bile acids (TSBA) concentration and coagulation status, including antithrombin activity, were determined in most dogs. Dogs were grouped into hepatobiliary and PSS categories. Specificity and sensitivity were calculated by use of a PC cutoff value of 70% activity.

Results—Specificity for PC activity and TSBA concentrations was similar (76% and 78%, respectively). Best overall sensitivity was detected with TSBA, but PC activity had high sensitivity for detecting PSS and hepatic failure. Protein C activity in microvascular dysplasia (MVD; PC ≥ 70% in 95% of dogs) helped differentiate MVD from portosystemic vascular anomalies (PSVA; PC < 70% in 88% of dogs). A receiver operating characteristic curve (PSVA vs MVD) validated a useful cutoff value of < 70% activity for PC.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Combining PC with routine tests improved recognition of PSS, hepatic failure, and severe hepatobiliary disease and signified a grave prognosis when coupled with hyperbilirubinemia and low antithrombin activity in hepatic failure. Protein C activity can help prioritize tests used to distinguish PSVA from MVD and sensitively reflects improved hepatic-portal perfusion after PSVA ligation.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine disorders associated with vacuolar hepatopathy (VH), morphologic hepatic and clinicopathologic abnormalities, and affiliation with steroidogenic hormone excess in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—336 dogs with histologically confirmed moderate or severe VH.

Procedures—Information on signalment, results of diagnostic testing, definitive diagnoses, and exposure to glucocorticoids (ie, exogenous glucocorticoid administration or high endogenous concentrations of steroidogenic hormones) was obtained from medical records. Dogs were grouped by underlying disorder, glucocorticoid exposure, acinar zonal distribution of lesions, and histologic severity.

Results—12 disease groups (neoplastic, acquired hepatobiliary, neurologic, immune-mediated, gastrointestinal tract, renal, infectious, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, portosystemic vascular anomaly, adrenal gland dysfunction, and miscellaneous disorders) were identified. There were 186 (55%) dogs with and 150 (45%) dogs without evidence of glucocorticoid exposure. Acinar zonal distribution of hepatic vacuolation and clinicopathologic values did not differ between dogs with and without evidence of glucocorticoid exposure. However, a 3-fold increased likelihood of severe VH was associated with steroidogenic hormone exposure. Of 226 dogs with high serum alkaline phosphatase activity, 102 (45%) had no evidence of glucocorticoid exposure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that neoplasia and congenital or acquired hepatobiliary disease are common in dogs with VH and provide support for the suggestion that VH, high alkaline phosphatase activity, and illness-invoked physiologic stress may be associated. Histologic confirmation of VH should initiate a diagnostic search for a primary disease if glucocorticoid treatment and hyperadrenocorticism are ruled out.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate disparities in hepatic copper concentrations determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and digital image analysis of rhodanine-stained sections.

ANIMALS

516 dogs.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of dogs for which hepatic biopsy specimens had been submitted between January 1999 and December 2019 for evaluation of copper content were reviewed. Paired hepatic copper concentrations obtained with digital image analysis and AAS or ICP-MS were compared, and Spearman rank correlation coefficients were calculated to test for correlations between qualitative copper accumulation scores and hepatic copper concentrations. For dogs for which ≥ 4 rhodanine-stained hepatic sections were available, intraindividual variation in copper distribution across hepatic sections was evaluated.

RESULTS

Median hepatic copper concentrations obtained with digital image analysis exceeded concentrations obtained with AAS or ICP-MS. Concentrations were also higher in older dogs (≥ 9 years vs < 9 years), dogs of breeds with a typical body weight ≥ 20 kg (44 lb), and dogs with necroinflammatory changes or uneven copper distribution. Qualitative copper accumulation scores were significantly associated with hepatic copper concentrations; however, the correlation between qualitative score and concentration obtained with digital image analysis (rs = 0.94) was higher than the correlation between qualitative score and concentration obtained with AAS (rs = 0.75) or ICP-MS (rs = 0.57). The coefficient of variation for hepatic copper concentrations obtained with digital image analysis was significantly higher for dogs with higher hepatic copper concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that spectroscopic-spectrometric analysis of hepatic biopsy specimens commonly underestimated the concentration obtained by digital image analysis of rhodanine-stained sections.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association