Can sonographic findings predict the results of liver aspirates in dogs with suspected liver disease?

Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2009 Sep-Oct;50(5):513-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2009.01572.x.


While abdominal ultrasound and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology are often combined to help determine the type of liver disease in dogs, little is known about the relationship that may exist between the results of these tests. We hypothesized that specific sonographic findings, or combinations of findings, may predict results of liver ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology. Hepatic and extrahepatic sonographic findings were recorded prospectively using a standardized form in 70 dogs with clinically suspected liver disease and in which liver ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology was performed. The predictive value of sonographic findings in regard to the category of cytology results was assessed with stepwise logistic regression analysis. Sonographic detection of a hepatic mass (> or = 3cm; risk ratio [RR] 3.83, 95% Wald confidence intervals [95% CI] 2.42-3.93, P = 0.0036), ascites (RR 3.82, 95% CI 1.94-4.28, P = 0.0044), abnormal hepatic lymph node(s) (RR 3.01, 95% CI 1.22-4.88, P= 0.0262), and abnormal spleen (RR 3.26, 95% CI 1.20-3.85, P = 0.0274) were the most predictive of liver neoplasia on cytology. Conversely, sonographic detection of hepatic nodules (< 3cm; RR 1.97, 95% CI 0.95-2.96, P = 0.0666) was most predictive of vacuolar hepatopathy on cytology. In dogs with suspected liver disease, several sonographic findings, alone or combined, are thus predictive of liver ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology results. In the light of the fact that ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology of the liver has limitations, these predictabilities could influence the selection of diagnostic tests to reach a reliable diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy, Needle / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / veterinary