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A Comparison of Liver Sampling Techniques in Dogs

Kemp, S.D., Zimmerman, K.L., Panciera, D.L., Monroe, W.E., Leib, M.S., Lanz, O.I.
Journal of veterinary internal medicine 2015 v.29 no.1 pp. 51-57
biopsy, dogs, histopathology, liver, necropsy, prospective studies
BACKGROUND: The liver sampling technique in dogs that consistently provides samples adequate for accurate histopathologic interpretation is not known. HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To compare histopathologic results of liver samples obtained by punch, cup, and 14 gauge needle to large wedge samples collected at necropsy. ANIMALS: Seventy dogs undergoing necropsy. METHODS: Prospective study. Liver specimens were obtained from the left lateral liver lobe with an 8 mm punch, a 5 mm cup, and a 14 gauge needle. After sample acquisition, two larger tissue samples were collected near the center of the left lateral lobe to be used as a histologic standard for comparison. Histopathologic features and numbers of portal triads in each sample were recorded. RESULTS: The mean number of portal triads obtained by each sampling method were 2.9 in needle samples, 3.4 in cup samples, 12 in punch samples, and 30.7 in the necropsy samples. The diagnoses in 66% of needle samples, 60% of cup samples, and 69% of punch samples were in agreement with the necropsy samples, and these proportions were not significantly different from each other. The corresponding kappa coefficients were 0.59 for needle biopsies, 0.52 for cup biopsies, and 0.62 for punch biopsies. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: The histopathologic interpretation of a liver sample in the dog is unlikely to vary if the liver biopsy specimen contains at least 3–12 portal triads. However, in comparison large necropsy samples, the accuracy of all tested methods was relatively low.