ISSN 2398-2985      

Hepatomegaly

6guinea pig

Synonym(s): Enlargement of the liver


Introduction

  • Cause: associated with Cavian leukemia, lymphosarcoma. Additional causes could include congestion due to heart disease, or hepatitis (not commonly diagnosed in guinea pigs).
  • Signs: anorexia, lethargy, poor grooming/hair coat, peripheral lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, mediastinal masses.
  • Diagnosis: lymph node biopsy/fine needle aspirate with cytology, histology; radiography, ultrasonography; necropsy with histopathology.
  • Treatment: for leukemia chemotherapy may be attempted; theoretically for lymphosarcoma protocols as used in other species could be attempted, but no successful treatment has been reported. For other causes, treat the primary cause of hepatomegaly (such as with heart disease).
  • Prognosis: grave. Lymphosarcoma is highly malignant and rapidly progresses.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • For leukemia Leukemia/LSA Lymphosarcoma: LSA has sometimes been linked with Cavian leukemia which has been linked to a type-C retrovirus.
  • LSA has also been found without B-cell leukemia.
  • Heart disease involving right heart insufficiency can lead to a congested liver Heart disease.
  • A bacterial hepatitis could occur, although this is not commonly reported in guinea pigs.

Pathophysiology

  • For leukemia Leukemia/LSA Lymphosarcoma: with the leukemia, the type C retrovirus alters the B-cell function and reproduction.
  • LSA: neoplastic lymphocytes proliferate in lymph nodes, liver, spleen predominantly.
  • With right-sided heart failure, the liver becomes congested.
  • Hepatitis (likely bacterial) may lead to an inflammatory response as well which may enlarge the liver.

Timecourse

  • For leukemia a course of 2-5 weeks is reported.

Epidemiology

  • The type-C retrovirus is considered endogenous, so spread between guinea pigs may not be horizontal but vertical.
  • Unknown for the true LSA where no leukemia is associated with it and there is uncertainty whether a retrovirus is involved.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Hawkins M G & Bishop C R (2012) Disease Problems of Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 295-310.
  • Orr H (2009) Rodents: Neoplastic and Endocrine Disease. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents and Ferrets. Eds: Keeble E & Meredith A. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. pp 181-192.

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