Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Liver: cholangiohepatitis

Contributor(s): Debbie Deem Morris, Imogen Johns, Karen MacEachern, Janice Sojka, Chris Whitton

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 Educ16(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 J32(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).JAVMA196(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, Philadelphia. ISBN: 0721697771.
  • Rose R J & Hodgson D R (1999) Manual of Equine Practice. 2nd edn. W B Saunders, Phildadelphia. ISBN: 0721686656.
  • Divers T J (1997)Hepatic Disorders.In:Current Therapy in Equine Medicine.4th edn. Ed: Robinson N E. W B Saunders, Philadelphia. ISBN: 0721626335.


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