Percutaneous Transvenous Coil Embolization Treatment for Liver Shunts

Last year, we published a post on a promising new procedure, Percutaneous Transvenous Coil Embolization (PTCE) for the repair of liver shunts. The first scientific paper has come out on this procedure, and Dr. Cassie Lux, Assistant Professor of Surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee, very generously wrote up for us how the procedure works:

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Promising New Procedure for Liver (Portosystemic) Shunts

Update: This procedure is now available at several locations around the country, and we have published additional information on it here and here.

Some promising news regarding correcting portosystemic shunts in dogs comes from U.C. Davis, where Dr. Bill Culp has developed a new, non-invasive way to close intrahepatic shunts, which historically have been difficult to correct surgically.

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by John Dillberger, DVM

Reprinted from the November/December 2004 Claymore

Please note: Since this article was published in 2004, it is now recommended that every Deerhound be screened for a liver shunt with a bile acid test. This test should ideally be conducted by breeders before puppies go to their new homes. Many labs do bile-acid testing; for more information on liver shunts and testing, go here.

Some time ago, a Deerhound owner and breeder sent me a letter asking that I devote a column to liver shunts. One of her pups had a liver shunt, and she hoped I could discuss not only the nature of disorder but also its symptoms, how to test for it, and what treatment was available. As it happens, her problem is not an isolated one in our breed.

In 1994, I reprinted a paper on liver shunts in Deerhounds by Dutch veterinarian Dr. H.P. Meyer. He reported that of 125 Dutch Deerhounds screened for liver shunt, 6 (approximately 5%) were found to have the problem. Dr. Meyer also wrote that liver shunts were most probably an inherited disorder.

This month I’ll revisit the subject of liver shunts to include what has been learned in the last decade. Read more