Hepatobiliary scintigraphy in the evaluation of feline liver disease

Newell SM, Selcer BA, Roberts RE, et al.

J Vet Intern Med 1996;10:308-315.

Hepatobiliary scintigraphy (HBS) was performed in 10 cats with histologically documented hepatobiliary disease. The scintigraphic patterns were classified into one of 5 categories: normal, primary hepatocellular dysfunction, primary intrahepatic cholestasis, mixed hepatocellular and intrahepatic cholestasis, and extrahepatic obstructive patterns. Initial attempts were made to correlate specific disease entities with HBS patterns, but a consistent relationship could not be determined. A correlation between the histological severity of a given hepatic disease and the HBS pattern was made. All cats (n = 5) with a mixed hepatocellular and intrahepatic cholestasis scintigraphic pattern with normal gallbladder function had a histologically severe form of their individual hepatic disease. Three of the 4 cats with an intrahepatic cholestasis pattern and normal hepatocellular and gallbladder function had histologically mild or moderate forms of their individual hepatic diseases. One cat had an extrahepatic obstructive pattern where no radiopharmaceutical was identified in the gallbladder or small intestine by 3 hours postinjection. This study suggests that HBS can be useful in cats with hepatobiliary disease to assess the severity of hepatic dysfunction, and to determine if extrahepatic biliary obstruction is present. Correlation between HBS patterns and specific disease entities such as hepatic lipidosis or cholangitis-cholangiohepatitis syndrome could not be made in this study.