Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Liver: cirrhosis

Contributor(s): Nick Bexfield, Kyle Braund

Introduction

  • See also Liver: chronic disease - overview.
  • Hepatic degeneration, necrosis, regeneration, fibrosis.
  • Cause: usually obscure - end-stage of chronic hepatic diseases Liver: chronic disease - overview.
  • Signs: of liver failure.
  • Diagnosis: on liver biopsy, hepatic function tests severely impaired, hepatic enzymes often only slightly elevated.
  • Treatment: symptomatic management.
  • Prognosis: poor, irreversible.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Pathophysiology

  • Pathophysiologic mechanisms of chronic hepatitis in dogs are poorly understood. Immune mechanisms and copper accumulation may play roles.
  • Chronic liver disease may result in fibrosis. If the injury is severe and/or ongoing, the liver will respond by laying down fibrous tissue. This represents a final common pathway to a variety of insults to the liver.
  • When bridging fibrosis causes permanent distortion of the liver associated with regenerative nodules, it is termed cirrhosis. Even if the underlying cause can be identifed and reversed, cirrhosis is an irreversible change.
  • Replacement of hepatic parenchyma by fibrosis → increased hepatic vascular resistance → portal hypertension → ascites → also development of multiple acquired arteriovenous shunts → hepatic encephalopathy. Also, impaired production of various coagulation factors can → bleeding disorders.

Timecourse

  • Weeks, months.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Watson P J (2004) Chronic hepatitis in dogs: a review of current understanding of the aetiology, progression and treatment. Vet J 167 (3), 228-241 PubMed.
  • Hill P B, Auxilia S T, Munro E, Genovese L, Silkstone M A & Kirby B (2000) Resolution of skin lesions and long-term survival in a dog with superficial necrolytic dermatitis and liver cirrhosis. JSAP 41 (11), 519-523 PubMed.
  • Center S A (1999) Chronic liver disease - current concepts of disease mechanisms. JSAP 40 (3), 106-114 PubMed.
  • Sevelius E (1995) Diagnosis and prognosis of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis in dogs. JSAP 36 (12), 521-528 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Willard M D (2005)Inflammatory canine hepatic disorders.In:Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.6th edn. Eds S J Ettinger & E C Feldman. Philadelphia: W B Saunders. pp 1441-1447.
  • Watson P J (2005)diseases of the liver.In:BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Gastroenterology.2nd edn. Eds E J Hall, J W Simpson & D A Williams. BSAVA publications. pp 240-268.


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