Clinical utility of liver biopsies in dogs undergoing splenectomy

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of neoplasia detected on liver biopsy obtained at the time of splenectomy in dogs with splenic masses. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective study of medical records of dogs with splenic masses from which liver biopsies were taken following splenectomy. RESULTS: Malignant splenic neoplasia was detected in 50 of 113 (44.2%) of the dogs undergoing splenectomy. Neoplastic liver disease was detected on biopsy from 1 of 40 (2.5%) dogs with a grossly normal liver and from 20 of 69 (28.9%) dogs with a grossly abnormal liver. Dogs with a grossly abnormal liver had a ~ 16 times (95% CI: 2.5-170) higher chance of being diagnosed with liver neoplasia on biopsy. Haemoabdomen was also associated with an increased likelihood of liver neoplasia on biopsy at the time of splenectomy. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: A liver biopsy taken from grossly normal liver is a low-yield diagnostic test but liver biopsy is recommended following splenectomy if the liver appears abnormal at surgery.

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The Journal of small animal practice

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