Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats

      Since the initial description of hepatic lipidosis (HL) in 1977,
      • Barsanti J.A.
      • Jones B.D.
      • Spano J.S.
      • et al.
      Prolonged anorexia associated with hepatic lipidosis in three cats.
      it has emerged as the most common form of liver disease diagnosed in cats in North America. In a 10-year retrospective study of all feline liver biopsies at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, HL accounted for 50% of all cases.
      • Hall J.A.
      • Barstad L.A.
      • Connor W.E.
      Lipid composition of hepatic and adipose tissues from normal cats and cats with idiopathic hepatic lipidosis.
      This figure likely under-represents the true prevalence in this hospital population, because the study included only cats undergoing liver biopsy, not fine-needle aspiration. In a 1996 study in which clinical data were collected in primary care small animal practices across the United States, the overall prevalence of the syndrome was 0.06% (E.M. Lund, personal communication, 2009; the study is described by Lund and colleagues.
      • Lund E.M.
      • Armstrong P.J.
      • Kirk C.A.
      • et al.
      Health status and population characteristics of dogs and cats examined at private veterinary practices in the United States.
      A prevalence of 0.16% was obtained in a population of over 360,000 cats seen at primary care practices in 2008 (E.M. Lund, personal communication, 2009. Data made available by Banfield, The Pet Hospital). There may be some geographic variation in the prevalence of HL. For example, the authors have received reports that HL is relatively common in cats in North America, Great Britain, Japan, and Western Europe and relatively uncommon in Southern European countries and New Zealand. One could speculate that these differences may correspond with the prevalence of obesity in cats in different countries or other regional differences, such as feeding practices.

      Keywords

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