Comparison Between Coelioscopy and Coeliotomy for Liver Biopsy in Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2008
Shaun Boone1, BS; Stephen J. Hernandez-Divers1, BVetMed, DZooMed, MRCVS, DACZM; MaryAnn Radlinsky1, DVM, MS, DACVS; Kenneth S. Latimer2, DVM, PhD, DACVP; James L. Shelton3, BS, MS, PhD
1Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA; 2Department of Clinical Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA; 3Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA


A comparison of liver biopsies by endoscopy versus standard coeliotomy in 30 channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) was performed.1 Ten fish were randomly assigned into either the control, coeliotomy, or coelioscopy groups. All fish were anesthetized using buffered tricaine methanesulfonate and maintained using a re-circulating anesthesia machine.2 Body weight, packed cell volume (PCV), total protein (TP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatinine phosphokinase (CPK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) were measured pre- and postoperatively. A standard ventral coeliotomy or saline-infusion coelioscopy was performed,3 and collected biopsies were scored histologically. Both the coeliotomy and coelioscopy procedures were well tolerated without acute mortalities. The PCV and TP decreased postoperatively in the coelioscopy group due to intracoelomic fluid administration during the procedure to aid visualization. Minor changes in activities for hepatic and muscular enzyme activities were apparent, but were not statistically significant between the coelioscopy and coeliotomy groups. Coelioscopy and coeliotomy yielded biopsies of similar diagnostic quality on the basis of histopathology. However, coelioscopy permitted a more extensive evaluation of the viscera. This study indicated that all surgical wounds (10/10) for coelioscopy healed completely, while the surgical wounds (3/10) of the coeliotomy group had severe wound dehiscence. Surgeon skill, suture material and pattern, and environmental factors can affect surgical outcome. In conclusion, both coelioscopy and coeliotomy are capable of yielding ante-mortem liver biopsies of diagnostic quality in catfish. Coelioscopy permits a more detailed examination of the coelomic viscera through a smaller surgical incision, is less traumatic, results in decreased wound dehiscence, and is recommended for visceral examination and biopsy in fish.


This project was supported by a grant from Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The authors would like to thank Karl Storz Veterinary Endoscopy for supporting endoscopy research and development at The University of Georgia. Additional assistance was provided by Dr. David Martinez, Mr. Dan Regan, Mr. Jason Norman, Mr. Raj Joshia, and Dr. Deborah Keys.

Literature Cited

1.  Boone SS, Hernandez-Divers SJ, Radlinsky MG, Latimer KS, Shelton JL. Comparison between coelioscopy and coeliotomy for liver biopsy in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008;223:960–967.

2.  Harms CA, Lewbart GA. Surgery in fish. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2000;3:759–774.

3.  Stoskopf MK. Surgery. In: Stoskopf MK, ed. Fish Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Co.; 1992:91–97.


Speaker Information
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Shaun Boone, BS
Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia
Athens, GA, USA

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