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Bleeding risk and complications associated with percutaneous ultrasound-guided liver biopsy in cats

Pavlick, Michelle, Webster, Cynthia RL, Penninck, Dominique G
Journal of feline medicine and surgery 2019 v.21 no.6 pp. 529-536
analysis of variance, bilirubin, biopsy, blood serum, cats, coagulation, death, enzymes, guidelines, hematocrit, hemorrhage, histology, humans, liver, liver diseases, medical records, risk, ultrasonography
Liver biopsy is necessary for a diagnosis of liver disease; however, post-biopsy bleeding is a concern. The aim of this study was to describe the extent of bleeding and the occurrence of complications after percutaneous ultrasound-guided liver biopsy (PUGLB) in cats. The medical records of 30 cats that had a PUGLB were retrospectively reviewed. Using human guidelines, bleeding was classified as minor or major when the absolute change in packed cell volume (ΔPCV) was <0 and >−6% or ≤-6%, respectively. Complications were defined as physiologic compromise necessitating an intervention, or death. The relationship between ΔPCV and the occurrence of complications and the signalment, initial PCV, coagulation parameters, serum liver enzymes and bilirubin, number of biopsies, histological diagnosis, ultrasound findings, radiologist experience, concurrent procedures and vitamin K administration were assessed using Fisher’s exact test, ANOVA and Pearson’s correlation coefficient, with a P value <0.05 considered significant. All cats had a decrease in PCV after biopsy. The mean ΔPCV was −6.9% ± 4.1%. Minor and major bleeding occurred in 13/30 (43.3%) and 17/30 (56.7%) cats, respectively, and non-lethal bleeding complications occurred in 5/30 (16.7%). Cats with complications had a lower pre-biopsy PCV (P <0.003). Major bleeding was more likely with a diagnosis of hepatic lipidosis (P = 0.03). There was no correlation between ΔPCV or complications and signalment, coagulation parameters, serum parameters, number of biopsies, ultrasound findings, radiologist experience, concurrent procedures and vitamin K administration. PUGLB is a relatively safe procedure in cats, although many cats have a subclinical decrease in PCV. As conventional coagulation tests did not predict complications or the magnitude of ΔPCV, there is a need for more sensitive indicators of bleeding risk in cats undergoing PUGLB.