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Pathologic Changes in Bile in Small Animals

(White bile syndrome, Inspissated bile syndrome, Bilirubin deconjugation)

By

Sharon A. Center

, BS, DVM, DACVIM, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Last full review/revision May 2015 | Content last modified May 2015

In animals with bile stasis, nonabsorbable bile constituents (bile salts, phospholipids, glycoproteins, and cholesterol) are subject to concentration or dilution when water and inorganic electrolytes (sodium, chloride, bicarbonate) are resorbed or added by the biliary epithelium. EHBDO can produce a “white bile” syndrome reflecting the absence of bilirubin pigments; this usually is found in animals with an obstructed gallbladder at the level of the cystic duct or in animals with obstruction of the hepatic ducts. Stasis of bile flow also may cause bile dehydration, promoting a pathologically thickened or sludged bile typically dark green to black in color. Formation of a gallbladder mucocele involves the entrapment, retention, dehydration, and local overproduction of mucin that lends a rubbery viscosity to bile. Bile stasis in obstructed ducts can lead to bilirubin deconjugation, which reduces bilirubin solubility and favors cholelith precipitation. Choleresis (enhanced bile flow) produces “watery,” dilute bile and is a therapeutic goal in disorders associated with bile stasis.

OTHER TOPICS IN THIS CHAPTER
Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Overview of Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Hematology in Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Coagulation Tests in Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Enzyme Activity in Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Other Serum Biochemical Measures in Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Hepatic Function Tests in Small Animals
Imaging in Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Cholecystocentesis in Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Liver Cytology in Small Animals
Liver Biopsy in Small Animals
Pathologic Changes in Bile in Small Animals
Nutrition in Hepatic Disease in Small Animals
Fulminant Hepatic Failure in Small Animals
Hepatic Encephalopathy in Small Animals
Portal Hypertension and Ascites in Small Animals
Portosystemic Vascular Malformations in Small Animals
Acquired Portosystemic Shunts in Small Animals
Other Hepatic Vascular Disorders in Small Animals
Hepatotoxins in Small Animals
Infectious Diseases of the Liver in Small Animals
Feline Hepatic Lipidosis
Biliary Cirrhosis in Small Animals
Canine Cholangiohepatitis
Canine Chronic Hepatitis
Lobular Dissecting Hepatitis in Small Animals
Canine Vacuolar Hepatopathy
Metabolic Diseases Affecting the Liver in Small Animals
Hepatocutaneous Syndrome in Small Animals
Nodular Hyperplasia in Small Animals
Hepatic Neoplasia in Small Animals
Miscellaneous Liver Diseases in Small Animals
Diseases of the Gallbladder and Extrahepatic Biliary System in Small Animals
Cholecystitis in Small Animals
Canine Gallbladder Mucocele
Other Disorders of the Gallbladder in Small Animals
Other Disorders of the Bile Ducts in Small Animals
Extrahepatic Bile Duct Obstruction in Small Animals
Cholelithiasis in Small Animals
Biliary Tree Rupture and Bile Peritonitis in Small Animals
Feline Cholangitis/Cholangiohepatitis Syndrome
Hepatobiliary Fluke Infection in Small Animals
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