Massive hepatocellular carcinoma in dogs: 48 cases (1992–2002)

Julius M. Liptak Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Present address is the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1.

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William S. Dernell Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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 DVM, MS, DACVS
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Eric Monnet Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Barbara E. Powers Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Annette M. Bachand Environmental Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Juanita G. Kenney Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Stephen J. Withrow Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical signs, diagnostic findings, outcome, and prognostic factors in dogs treated surgically for massive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and compare survival times of surgically and conservatively treated dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—48 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records were examined for clinical signs, diagnostic and surgical findings, and postoperative outcome. Dogs were allocated into surgery and nonsurgery groups depending on whether curative- intent liver lobectomy was performed. Data from the surgical and nonsurgical groups were analyzed to identify prognostic factors and determine and compare rates of tumor control and survival time.

Results—42 dogs were treated surgically, and 6 were managed conservatively. In the surgery group, intraoperative mortality rate was 4.8% with no local recurrence, metastatic rate was 4.8%, and median survival time was > 1,460 days (range, 1 to 1,460 days). High alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities were associated with poor prognosis. Median survival time for the nonsurgery group was 270 days (range, 0 to 415 days), which was significantly less than that of surgically treated dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Liver lobectomy is recommended for dogs with massive HCC because tumor-related mortality rate was 15.4 times higher in dogs in the nonsurgery group, compared with the surgery group. Tumor control was excellent after surgical resection with no local recurrence and a low metastatic rate. Prognostic factors were identified, but their clinical relevance was uncertain because only 9.5% of dogs in the surgery group died as a result of their disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1225–1230)

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical signs, diagnostic findings, outcome, and prognostic factors in dogs treated surgically for massive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and compare survival times of surgically and conservatively treated dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—48 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records were examined for clinical signs, diagnostic and surgical findings, and postoperative outcome. Dogs were allocated into surgery and nonsurgery groups depending on whether curative- intent liver lobectomy was performed. Data from the surgical and nonsurgical groups were analyzed to identify prognostic factors and determine and compare rates of tumor control and survival time.

Results—42 dogs were treated surgically, and 6 were managed conservatively. In the surgery group, intraoperative mortality rate was 4.8% with no local recurrence, metastatic rate was 4.8%, and median survival time was > 1,460 days (range, 1 to 1,460 days). High alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities were associated with poor prognosis. Median survival time for the nonsurgery group was 270 days (range, 0 to 415 days), which was significantly less than that of surgically treated dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Liver lobectomy is recommended for dogs with massive HCC because tumor-related mortality rate was 15.4 times higher in dogs in the nonsurgery group, compared with the surgery group. Tumor control was excellent after surgical resection with no local recurrence and a low metastatic rate. Prognostic factors were identified, but their clinical relevance was uncertain because only 9.5% of dogs in the surgery group died as a result of their disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1225–1230)

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