Objective—To determine history, results of diagnostic testing, surgical findings, complications, and outcome for dogs with liver lobe torsion (LLT).
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—12 dogs (1 with 2 episodes).
Procedure—Signalment, clinical signs, clinicopathologic findings, radiographic and ultrasonographic findings, surgical and histologic findings, complications, and hospitalization time were evaluated.
Results—The most common clinical signs were nonspecific abnormalities (eg, vomiting, lethargy, and anorexia) of acute or chronic duration. All dogs were large-breed dogs (median body weight, 37.2 kg [82 lb]). Biochemical abnormalities included high alanine amino-transferase (n = 12) and aspartate aminotransferase (11) activities. Results of abdominal ultrasonography were supportive of the diagnosis in 5 of 8 cases. Affected lobes included the left medial lobe (n = 4), left lateral lobe (3), papillary process of the caudate lobe (2), caudate lobe (1), and right lateral lobe (1). Exploratory celiotomy and liver lobectomy were performed in 12 of 13 cases, and in 11 of those 12 cases, the dog survived.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that development of nonspecific clinical signs of vomiting, lethargy, and anorexia in conjunction with high serum hepatic enzyme activities and mature neutrophilia in a medium-sized or large-breed dog should increase the index of suspicion for LLT. Abdominal ultrasonography with Doppler assessment may be useful in establishing the diagnosis. The long-term outcome for dogs that survive the hospitalization period is excellent.