Hepatic Volume Estimation Using Quantitative Computed Tomography In Dogs With Portosystemic Shunts

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SUSANNE M. STIEGER AZ, RACHEL E. POLLARD, ANDREW E. KYLES, ERIK R. WISNER,.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2007;48:409-413.

The purpose of this study was to use quantitative computed tomography (CT) to estimate liver volume in dogs with a portosystemic shunt and to compare the liver volume in normal dogs to dogs with a shunt. Twenty-one dogs with a portosystemic shunt underwent contrast-enhanced abdominal CT for shunt characterization and preoperative planning. Six dogs without clinical signs relating to liver disease were used as a control group. In addition, liver volume was compared before and 2-4 months after surgical shunt attenuation in three dogs. All studies followed established clinical imaging protocols. Liver margins were defined on each image using an operator-defined region of interest and hepatic volume renderings were produced from which the liver volume was quantitatively estimated. There was a statistically significant association between liver volume and body weight in control and shunt dogs (r=0.909 and 0.899, respectively, P < 0.01). Liver volume normalized to body weight was 15.5±5.2 cm3/kg in affected dogs and 24.5±5.6 cm3/kg in control dogs. Based on postligation CT studies in three affected dogs, liver volume increased by 43%, 51%, and 62%. Hepatic volume estimation may be a clinically useful parameter in the initial and postsurgical evaluation of dogs with portosystemic shunts.