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Diagnostic value of blood variables following attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunt in dogs
  1. Nicolas Vallarino1,
  2. Steven Pil1,
  3. Nausikaa Devriendt1,
  4. Matan Or1,
  5. Eva Vandermeulen2,
  6. Gonçalo Serrano1,
  7. Dominique Paepe1,
  8. Tim Bosmans1 and
  9. Hilde de Rooster1
  1. 1Small Animal Department, Universiteit Gent Faculteit Diergeneeskunde, Merelbeke, Belgium
  2. 2Department of Medical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopaedics of Small Animals, Universiteit Gent Faculteit Diergeneeskunde, Merelbeke, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicolas Vallarino;{at}


Background The aims of this study were to determine if extrahepatic portosystemic shunt (EHPSS) postoperative closure could be predicted based on preoperative blood analyses and to determine the accuracy of blood variables to evaluate persistence of portosystemic shunting postoperatively (multiple acquired portosystemic shunts (MAPSS) or persistent EHPSS).

Methods Retrospectively, 62 dogs treated surgically for congenital EHPSS that underwent postoperative trans-splenic portal scintigraphy or CT angiography three to six months postoperatively were included.

Results None of the studied preoperative blood variables could unambiguously predict surgical outcome. Elevated postoperative fasting venous ammonia (FA) concentration always indicated surgical failure (persistent shunting or MAPSS), but normal FA did not provide any information on the postoperative shunting status. Paired serum bile acids (SBA) were not reliable enough to confirm or exclude postoperative shunting. In the presence of low normal postoperative FA levels, elevated preprandial SBA was more likely in dogs with persistent shunting (sensitivity of 0.79, specificity of 0.83), whereas postprandial SBA below reference limit was more often observed in case of surgical success (sensitivity of 0.93, specificity of 0.67).

Conclusion Blood variables, and more specifically the combination of FA and SBA, are not a valuable alternative to advanced medical imaging to reliably assess the surgical outcome after EHPSS surgery.

  • ammonia
  • canine
  • multiple acquired shunts
  • portosystemic shunt
  • serum bile acids
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  • Presented at Some preliminary results of this study were presented as an oral abstract at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress, Birmingham, UK, April 2018.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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