Liver: steroid hepatopathy

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  • Cause : exogenous glucocorticoids, hyperadrenocorticism.
  • Signs : asymptomatic, elevation in liver enzymes or very occasionally hepatic failure.
  • Diagnosis : history of glucocorticoid use, signs, histopathology.
  • Prognosis : very good; reversible on removal of excess steroid.


Clinical signs

  • Asymptomatic.
  • Polydipsia/polyuria.
  • Polyphagia.
  • Obesity.
  • Skin and haircoat changes.
  • Signs of liver dysfunction.
  • Hepatomealy.
  • Jaundice.

Differential diagnosis

  • Inflammatory hepatopathies.



  • Good - reversible on elimination of excess steroids.
  • Hepatocellular glycogen slowly diminishes over time.

Expected response to treatment

  • Resolution of clinical symptoms of hepatic disease. Hepatic histopathology resolves - time scale depends on degree of damage.
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