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