Histopathological frequency of feline hepatobiliary disease in the UK.

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To determine the histopathological frequency of feline hepatobiliary diseases in the UK and to identify breed, age and gender predispositions to developing individual diseases.


Histopathology results from 1452 feline liver biopsies were assessed. A control population of microchipped cats was used for breed comparison. Data were retrospectively categorised into hepatobiliary diseases according to World Small Animal Veterinary Association standards. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to determine breed predispositions to the 10 most frequent diseases. Gender and age distributions were also evaluated.


The most frequent diseases based on histopathology were neutrophilic cholangitis (20·5%), reactive hepatitis (20·4%), reversible hepatocellular injury (8·4%), lymphocytic cholangitis (6·8%), biliary cysts (5·7%), acute hepatitis (5·6%), haematopoietic neoplasia (5·6%), hepatocellular neoplasia (4·9%), congenital portosystemic shunt (3·8%) and cholangiocellular neoplasia (3·1%). Some previously unreported breed and age predispositions were identified.


This is the first study to document the histopathological frequency of hepatobiliary diseases in a large cohort of cats in the UK, as well as novel breed and age predispositions. These data may help increase the index of suspicion of a particular disease in the absence of a biopsy-confirmed diagnosis.

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