Prognostic markers in feline hepatic lipidosis: A retrospective study of 71 cats

Sharon Kuzi*, Gilad Segev, Shay Kedar, Einat Yas, Itamar Aroch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Feline hepatic lipidosis (HL) is a common, potentially life-threatening disease resulting from prolonged anorexia and increased catabolism. This retrospective study included cats diagnosed with HL based on liver cytology or histopathology (years 2004-2015), and aimed to identify clinical and laboratory parameters associated with mortality. The study included 71 cats (47 females and 24 males) and 85 control cats with non-HL diseases. Most HL cats (90 per cent) were mixed breed, neutered (70; 99 per cent), female (47; 66 per cent), indoor cats (56; 79 per cent), fed dry commercial diets (44 cats; 62 per cent), and with a median age of 7.5 years (range 1.5-16.0). Common primary conditions included gastrointestinal diseases, pancreatitis and cholangiohepatitis (31 cats; 44 per cent) and stressful events (14; 20 per cent). HL was idiopathic in 20 cats (28 per cent). The overall mortality was 38 per cent (27/71 cats). Older age, as well as dullness, weakness, ptyalism, hypoproteinaemia, hypoalbuminaemia, increased serum creatine kinase activity, hypocholesterolaemia and hepatic failure at presentation were significantly (P≤0.033) associated with mortality. The primary disease was unassociated with mortality. Worsening hypoalbuminaemia, hyperammonaemia, hyperbilirubinaemia, electrolyte disorders, and occurrence of cavitary effusions or hypotension during hospitalisation were significantly (P≤0.045) associated with mortality. A decrease of serum β-hydroxybutyrate during hospitalisation was significantly (P=0.01) associated with survival, likely reflecting improvement in the catabolic state. The identified risk factors may be therapeutic targets.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)512
Number of pages1
JournalVeterinary Record
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© British Veterinary Association (unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.


  • feeding tube
  • hyperammonemia
  • hypocholesterolemia
  • liver
  • β-hydroxybutyric acid


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