Intrahepatic congenital portosystemic shunts in dogs: short- and long-term outcome of suture attenuation

M. S. Tivers*, V. J. Lipscomb, P. Bristow, D. J. Brockman

*Corresponding author for this work

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

10 Citations (Scopus)
611 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: To report the short- and long-term outcomes of one- or two-staged suture attenuation for complete closure of intrahepatic congenital portosystemic shunts in dogs. Materials and Methods: Retrospective cohort study of dogs surgically treated for intrahepatic congenital portosystemic shunts between February 2000 and March 2015. Long-term follow-up was conducted by telephone conversations with the referring veterinary surgeon, owner, or both. Results: In total, 55 dogs had suture attenuation of their intrahepatic congenital portosystemic shunt; 10 dogs (18·2%) tolerated complete attenuation, whilst 45 dogs (81·8%) tolerated partial attenuation. Postoperative complications occurred in 24 dogs (43·6%), and six dogs (10·9%) died. Repeat surgery was performed in 33 of 39 dogs (84·6%) that had previously undergone partial attenuation, and 27 of these (84·9%) ultimately achieved complete shunt attenuation. One dog (3·0%) died following second surgery, resulting in an overall postoperative mortality of seven of 55 (12·7%). Detailed follow-up was available for 22 dogs that were still alive at a median of 29 months after surgery (7·4 to 103·1) with a subjectively good quality of life. Of 17 dogs (82·4%), 14 with complete attenuation in one or two surgeries had an excellent outcome compared with one of five dogs (20%) with persistent shunting. Clinical Significance: Staged suture ligation resulted in a high proportion of complete attenuation and reduced persistent shunting compared with a single surgery. Repeat surgery was associated with fewer complications than the first surgery. The proportion of dogs with an excellent outcome was greater for those that had complete attenuation in one or two surgeries compared with those with persistent shunting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Issue number4
Early online date22 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Congenital portosystemic shunt
  • dog
  • outcome
  • surgery
  • intrahepatic


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