Quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy in normal cats and in cats with experimental cholangiohepatitis

Newell SM, Graham JP, Roberts GD, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2001;42:70-76.

Quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy using 99mTc-mebrofenin was performed on eight normal cats and on the same cats after induction of experimental cholangiohepatitis by infection with the liver fluke Platynosomum concinnum. Hepatobiliary scintigraphy was performed 3 times at 10 weeks, 4 months and 6 months after infection. In addition, routine biochemical tests, hepatic ultrasound and ultrasound guided hepatic biopsy samples were obtained at the same time points, and the results compared with hepatobiliary scintigraphy. The normal hepatic extraction fraction was determined to be 85%, and the normal hepatic excretion half time (T 1/2) was 14 minutes. There was no significant change in scintigraphic parameters compared to pre-infection values at any time following infection with the liver fluke. No correlation between scintigraphic parameters and histologic scores was found; however, significant correlation was identified between parasite burden and histologic scores 6 months following infection. Despite the presence of severe multifocal histologic abnormalities, minimal clinical, biochemical and scintigraphic derangements were identified using this model of cholangiohepatitis. Based on this study, hepatobiliary scintigraphy appears to be an insensitive test for structural hepatobiliary abnormalities. The role of hepatobiliary scintigraphy in functional hepatobiliary abnormalities of the feline liver has not been determined.