Morphology of congenital portosystemic shunts involving the left colic vein in dogs and cats

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the anatomy of congenital portosystemic shunts involving the left colic vein in dogs and cats.

Methods:

Retrospective review of a consecutive series of dogs and cats managed for congenital portosystemic shunts. For inclusion a shunt involving the left colic vein with recorded intraoperative mesenteric portovenography or computed tomography angiography along with direct gross surgical observations at the time of surgery was required.

Results:

Six dogs and three cats met the inclusion criteria. All cases had a shunt which involved a distended left colic vein. The final communication with a systemic vein was variable; in seven cases (five dogs, two cats) it was via the caudal vena cava, in one cat it was via the common iliac vein and in the remaining dog it was via the internal iliac vein. In addition, two cats showed caudal vena cava duplication.

Clinical Significance:

The morphology of this shunt type appeared to be a result of an abnormal communication between either the left colic vein or the cranial rectal vein and a pelvic systemic vein (caudal vena cava, common iliac vein or internal iliac vein). This information may help with surgical planning in cases undergoing shunt closure surgery.

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