Introduction/Purpose: Because of the widespread use of glucocorticoids, iatrogenic hypercortisolism occurs frequently in dogs. Glucocorticoids can also cause major side effect, like hepatopathy with a deposit of glycogen. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of glucocorticoids on the canine liver using tri-phasic computed tomography and to correlate these findings with histopathological characteristics.
Methods: Six healthy Beagle dogs were administrated hydrocortisone at a dose of 8.5mg/kg PO q12h for 12 weeks. Abdominal radiographs and ultrasonographs, tri- phasic computed tomography, blood analysis and core-biopsy of the liver were performed in all dogs. This study was admitted by laboratory animal ethicscommittee.
Results: There was a significant increase in precontrast and arterial phase Hounsfield Unit (HU) after 4-week-administration of hydrocortisone (p<0.001) comparing pre- administration. Marked changes such as cytoplasmic vacuolization and granulation were prominent in liver histopathology of all dogs.
Discussion/Conclusions: We can conclude that administration of hydrocortisone promoted glucocorticoid induced hepatopathy, which cause increase in pre contrast hepatic HU. Increased HU in arterial phase was presumed that most hepatic lesions have only an arterial blood supply and little or no supply from the portal vein. And tri- phasic computed tomography is non-invasive, useful tool for diagnosis of glucocorticoid induced hepatopathy, even though histological analysis is essential for definitive diagnosis.