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Read-Only Case Details Reviewed: Jan 2010

September 2018

Signalment (AFIP #2384572):  Female spayed Doberman pinscher

HISTORY:  This dog presented with anorexia, icterus and elevated ALT, ALP and total bilirubin.

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCIPTION:  D-M17a:  Liver:  Markedly expanding portal areas and bridging adjacent portal triads are numerous macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils, with fewer plasma cells, and fibroblasts (fibrosis) as well as increased biliary profiles (biliary ductular reaction).  Multifocally, inflammatory cells disrupt the limiting plate and extend into the adjacent periportal parenchyma and separate, surround, and replace hepatocytes that are often degenerate with swollen vacuolated cytoplasm or are necrotic with shrunken hypereosinophilic cytoplasm and karyolytic, pyknotic, or karyorrhectic nuclei (“piecemeal” necrosis).  Central veins are indistinct and there is occasional degeneration and necrosis of centrilobular hepatocytes admixed with lymphocytes, neutrophils and macrophages, and there multifocal areas of bridging from the central vein to adjacent portal areas.  Diffusely, lobules are decreased in size with decreased distance between portal areas.  Remaining hepatocytes contain yellow-brown pigment (copper, lipofuscin or hemosiderin) scattered within the cytoplasm.  The capsule is irregular with loss of subcapsular hepatocytes and infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells, neutrophils, and macrophages, hemorrhage, fibrin and edema.  There are multifocal dilated lymphatics (edema), and scattered macrophages and hepatocytes that contain golden brown cytoplasmic globules (hemosiderin). 

D-M17b: Rhodanine:  Liver:  Diffusely, macrophages and hepatocytes, predominantly periportal but also midzonal and centrilobular, contain abundant red globular pigment (copper).

MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Liver:  Hepatitis, portal and periportal, histiocytic, lymphoplasmacytic and neutrophilic, chronic, diffuse, moderate, with hepatic degeneration and necrosis, cholestasis, and abundant hepatocellular and histiocytic intracytoplasmic copper, Doberman pinscher, canine.

CONDITION: Canine Chronic Hepatitis

SYNONYMS:  Canine chronic-active hepatitis, chronic progressive hepatitis








Causes of chronic hepatitis in dogs:



  1. Bexfield NH, Buxton RJ,Vicek TJ, et al. Breed, age and gender distribution of dogs with chronic hepatitis in the United Kingdom. Vet J. 2012; 193(1):124-128.
  2. Bexfield NH, Watson PJ, Aguirre-Hernandez J, et al. DLA class II alleles and haplotypes are associated with risk for and protection from chronic hepatitis in the English Springer Spaniel. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(8):e42584.
  3. Charles JA, Cullen JM, Desmet VJ, Twedt DC, van den Ingh T, Van Winkle T. Morphological classification of parenchymal disorders of the canine and feline liver. In: WSAVA Standards for Clinical and Histological Diagnosis of Canine and Feline Liver Disease. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:94-99.
  4. Theise, ND. Liver and gallbladder. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC, eds. Robbins and Cotran’s Pathologic Basis of Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2015:827, 836-838.
  5. Zachary JF. Hepatobiliary system and exocrine pancreas. In: McGavin MD, Zachary JF, eds. Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:420, 429, 459-460.
  6. Cullen, JM, Stalker, MJ. Liver and Biliary System. In: Maxie MG, ed. Jubb, Kennedy, and Palmer’s Pathology of Domestic Animals. Vol 2. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2016:272; 301-307.
  7. Kanemoto H, Ohno K, Sakai M, et al. Expression of fibrosis-related genes in canine chronic hepatitis. Vet Pathol. 2011;48(4):839-845.
  8. Smedley R, Mullaney T, Rumbeiha W. Copper-associate hepatitis in Labrador Retrievers. Vet Pathol. 2009;46:484-490.
  9. Sridharan S, Allen AL, Kidney B, Al-Dissi AN. Metallothionein expression in dogs with chronic hepatitis and its correlation with hepatic fibrosis, inflammation, and Ki-67 expression. Vet Pathol. 2015; 52(6): 1127-1133.
  10. Vince AR, Hayes MA, Jefferson BJ, Stalker MJ. Hepatic injury correlates with apoptosis, regeneration, and nitric oxide synthase expression in canine chronic liver disease. Vet Pathol. 2014;51(5):932-945.
  11. Webb, CB. Canine inflammatory/infectious hepatic disease. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC, Cote, E, eds. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Diseases of the Dog and Cat. Vol. 2. 8th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:1630-1631.

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