ISSN 2398-2985      

Hepatic lipidosis

Jreptile
Contributor(s):

Vicki Baldrey

Anna Meredith

Synonym(s): Fatty liver syndrome, Steatosis


Introduction

  • Cause:
    • Pathological increase in the amount of fat deposition in the liver with negative effect on hepatic function.
    • Associated with many chronic disease states in reptiles.
    • Can be associated with follicular stasis in female reptiles.
  • Signs: anorexia, lethargy, obesity, weight loss, regurgitation.
  • Diagnosis: biochemistry, radiography (although no pathognomonic radiographic features of hepatic lipidosis), ultrasonography, celioscopy, liver biopsy, post-mortem examination.
  • Treatment: supportive treatment - fluid therapy, assisted feeding.
  • Prognosis: guarded once clinical disease is advanced.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Lipids are released from intracelomic fat bodies and transported to the liver to use as an energy source during periods of anorexia Anorexia.
  • When the rate of fatty acid delivery exceeds the liver’s capacity to synthesize and secrete lipoproteins back into the circulation, excess triglycerides accumulate within hepatocytes.
  • Pathologic lipid accumulation can lead to secondary hepatic dysfunction.
  • When lipids are used as the primary energy source, lipid oxidative pathways generate excess ketone bodies, which leads to metabolic acidosis.

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

Pathophysiology

  • Fat accumulation in hepatocytes results in cholestasis, liver failure and eventually death. 
  • The fatty liver is fragile, can easily rupture and abdominal hemorrhage may be seen.

Timecourse

  • Usually a chronic disease process (months, years).
  • Acute toxic hepatic lipidosis is possible.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Marchiori A, da Silva L, Bonelli M et al (2015) Use of computed tomography for investigation of hepatic lipidosis in captive chelonoidis carbonaria. J Zoo Wildlife Med 46 (2), 320-324 PubMed.
  • Dutra G H P (2014) Diagnostic value of hepatic enzymes, triglycerides and serum proteins for the detection of hepatic lipidosis in Chelonoidis carbonaria in captivity. J Life Sci 8 (8), 633-639 ResearchGate.
  • Simpson M (2006) Hepatic lipidosis in a black-headed python (Aspidites melanocephalus). Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 9 (3), 589-598 PubMed.
  • Divers S & Cooper J (2000) Reptile hepatic lipidosis. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med 9 (3), 153-164 SciDirect.

Other sources of information

  • Brown S J L, Naylor A D, Machin R & Pellett S (2019) Gastrointestinal System. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 3rd edn. Eds: Girling S J & Raiti P. BSAVA, UK. pp 284-308.
  • Divers S J (2018) Hepatic Lipidosis. In: Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds. Divers S J & Stahl S J. Elsevier, USA. pp 1312-1313.
  • Hochleithner C & Holland M (2014) Ultrasonography. In: Current Therapy in Reptile Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Mader D & Divers S. Elsevier, USA. pp 107-127.
  • Pees M (2011) Ultrasonography. In: Diagnostic Imaging of Exotic Pets. Eds. Krautwald-Junghanns M-E, Pees M, Reese S & Tully T. Schlutersche, Germany. pp 334-357.
  • Pees M & Kostka V (2011) Liver. In: Diagnostic Imaging of Exotic Pets. Eds. Krautwald-Junghanns M-E, Pees M, Reese S & Tully T. Schlutersche, Germany. pp 408-413.

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