ISSN 2398-2977      

Liver: cholangiohepatitis

pequis

Introduction

  • Infrequent sporadic cause of acute hepatic failure; chronic form also identified.
  • Cause: disease leading to inflammation of the biliary tract and liver.
  • Signs: mild, recurrent colic; inappetance, icterus, depression, hepatoencephalopathy, pyrexia. Weight loss in chronic form.
  • Diagnosis: clinical pathology, ultrasonography, liver biopsy.
  • Treatment: antimicrobial therapy, dietary change and fluid therapy; surgery.
  • Prognosis: depends on biopsy findings; poor if hepatic encephalopathy present.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Suspected ascending bacterial infection from small intestine: gram-negative rods usually implicated:
  • Usually associated with choleliths - either as a primary event or secondary to the ascending infection.
  • Also associated with large colon displacements in adult horses and duodenal ulceration in foals.

Pathophysiology

  • Inflammation/infection   →   fever.
  • Biliary obstruction/hepatic enlargement   →   colic.
  • Biliary obstruction   →   jaundice and photosensitivity.
  • With chronic disease, fibrosis occurs.
  • See Liver disease: overview   Liver disease: overview  .

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Peek S F (2004) Cholangiohepatitis in the mature horse. Equine Vet Educ 16 (2), 72-75 VetMedResource.
  • Peek S F & Divers T J (2000) Medical treatment of cholangiohepatitis and cholelithiasis in mature horses - 9 cases (1991-1998). Equine Vet J 32 (4), 301-306 PubMed.
  • Reef V B, Johnston J K, Divers T J & Acland H A (1990) Ultrasonographic findings in horses with cholelithiasis: eight cases (1985-1987). JAVMA 196 (11), 1836-1840 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Barton M H (2004) Disorders of the Liver. In: Equine Internal Medicine. 2nd edn. Eds: Reed S M, Bayly W M & Sellon D C. W B Saunders, USA. ISBN: 0721697771.
  • Rose R J & Hodgson D R (1999) Manual of Equine Practice. 2nd edn. W B Saunders, USA. ISBN: 0721686656.
  • Divers T J (1997) Hepatic Disorders. In: Current Therapy in Equine Medicine. 4th edn. Ed: Robinson N E. W B Saunders, USA. ISBN: 0721626335.

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