Histopathologic Variation between Liver Lobes in Dogs

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American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine


Background: Biopsy of the liver evaluates a small portion of tissue, with inferences made to the entire organ. The method and number of biopsies obtained are tempered by consideration of the risks and benefits. Recommendations often include biopsy of more than one liver lobe, although the consistency of histopathology among lobes in dogs is unknown. Hypothesis/Objectives: To describe the distribution of histopathologic

abnormalities between liver lobes. We hypothesized that discordant results would be evenly distributed among all liver lobes. Animals: Seventy dogs undergoing necropsy.

Methods: Prospective study. Liver samples were obtained from all lobes. A primary diagnosis was assigned to each liver sample based on the predominant histopathologic abnormality. Results: In this population of dogs, biopsy of at least 2 liver lobes identified the predominant histologic abnormality in 98.6% of the cases. Ten ( 14%) of the dogs had = 3 lobes in agreement and could not be assigned a predominant diagnosis. The same diagnosis was present in 6/ 6 lobes in 39 ( 56.5%) dogs, 5/ 6 lobes in 10 ( 14.5%) dogs, 4/ 6 lobes in 10 ( 14.5%) dogs, 3/ 6 lobes in 7 ( 10.1%) dogs, and 2/ 6 in 3 ( 4.3%) dogs. The number of discordant results did not differ between the liver lobes.

Conclusion and Clinical Importance: The likelihood of obtaining a sample that is reflective of the predominant histologic abnormality in the liver is increased when multiple liver lobes are biopsied.



Fibrosis, Hepatitis, Liver biopsy