Pancreatitis and triaditis in cats: causes and treatment

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Pancreatitis in cats is frequently accompanied by concurrent disease in other organ systems. Co-morbidities include hepatic lipidosis, inflammatory liver disease, bile duct obstruction, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, vitamin deficiency (B12/cobalamin, folate or K), intestinal lymphoma, nephritis, pulmonary thromboembolism and pleural and peritoneal effusions. “Triaditis” is the term used to describe concurrent inflammation of the pancreas, liver and small intestines. Triaditis has been reported in 50 to 56% of cats diagnosed with pancreatitis and 32 to 50% of those with cholangitis/inflammatory liver disease. A definitive diagnosis of triaditis is based on the histopathological evaluation of each organ. However, the specific conditions of each organ that constitute a diagnosis of triaditis remains to be defined. While the aetiopathogenesis of pancreatitis and its relationship to inflammation in other organ systems is unclear, preliminary studies point to a heterogeneous group of conditions with differential involvement of host inflammatory and immune responses and enteric bacteria. Comprehensive, prospective studies that simultaneously evaluate the presence of predefined clinical, clinicopathological and histopathological abnormalities, coupled with high-resolution evaluation of pancreaticobiliary morphology, immunological profiling and screening for bacterial colonisation are required to advance diagnosis and therapy.

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