Dogs with congenital porto-systemic shunting (cPSS) and hepatic encephalopathy have higher serum concentrations of C-reactive protein than asymptomatic dogs with cPSS

A. G. Gow, A. I. Marques, D. A. Yool, K. Crawford, S. M. Warman, P. D. Eckersall, R. Jalan, R. J. Mellanby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in patients with liver disorders and a wide range of rodent models of HE have been described to facilitate studies into the pathogenesis and treatment of HE. However, it is widely acknowledged that no individual model perfectly mimics human HE and there is a particular need for spontaneous, larger animal models. One common congenital abnormality in dogs is the portosystemic shunt (cPSS) which causes clinical signs that are similar to human HE such as ataxia, disorientation, lethargy and occasionally coma. As inflammation has recently been shown to be associated with HE in humans, we hypothesised that inflammation would similarly be associated with HE in dogs with cPSS. To examine this hypothesis we measured C-reactive protein (CRP) in 30 healthy dogs, 19 dogs with a cPSS and no HE and 27 dogs with a cPSS and overt HE. There was a significant difference in CRP concentration between healthy dogs and dogs with HE ( <0.001) and between dogs with HE and without HE ( <0.05). The novel finding that there is an association between inflammation and canine HE strengthens the concept that HE in dogs with cPSS shares a similar pathogenesis to humans with HE. Consequently, dogs with a cPSS may be a good spontaneous model of human HE in which to further examine the role of inflammation and development of HE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-229
Number of pages3
JournalMetabolic Brain Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Inflammation
  • C-reactive protein
  • Dog
  • Portosystemic shunt

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