Angiographic Study of Arterial Blood Supply of Liver in Dogs
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2004
Niza, M.M.R.E.1, Vilela, C.L.1, Ferreira, A.J.A.1, Gonçalves, M.S.1, Pisco, J.M.2
1CIISA/Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, R. Prof. Cid dos Santos, Lisboa, Portugal; 2Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa


The in-depth evaluation of hepatic arterial vascular structures is essential for the diagnosis of some liver diseases and surgical decision. This work aimed at identifying the normal arterial blood supply to the liver in healthy dog.

Materials and methods

The study was carried out with in vivo techniques of selective angiography performed in 20 adult healthy dogs, with heights ranging from 10 to 20 Kg (12 males and 8 females). Angiography was performed as described by Gomez et al. (1973), with minor modifications, using sodium and meglumine loxitalamate (Telebrix® 38) as contrast medium. Selective catheterization of celiac and mesenterial cranial arteries was performed by means of a Siremobil 2000 fluoroscope (Siemmens).


The results showed that individual variations of arterial vessels supplying the liver are frequent in the dog. Variations of hepatic artery may occur in its origin and along its path, without major differences in the arterial hepatic irrigation itself. In healthy animals, the hepatic artery, through the hepatic branches, is always the vessel responsible for the arterial blood supply to the liver, independently of its emergence and ramifications. The division of the celiac artery in 2 branches was the most common presentation found (13/20) and only 7 dogs showed 3 branches emerging from the celiac artery. The origin, diameter, course and ramifications of the hepatic artery were constant in all animals. Regarding the hepatic branches, we observed the occurrence of 1 branch (2/20), 2 (6/20) or 3 branches, the latter being the most frequent (12/20).


Although a common pattern of ramification of the hepatic artery was observed, a considerable number of dogs presented variations. This finding re-enforces the need for detailed evaluation of the hepatic arterial blood supply both for diagnosis and/or surgical intervention, if required. Angiography proved to be an adequate technique, safe for the animals and providing information in a short period of time, for detecting eventual variations to the vascular pattern.


1.  Gomez J.A. et al., 1973. Selective abdominal angiography in the dog. J. Am. Vet. Radiol. Soc., 14 : 72-80.

Speaker Information
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M.M.R.E. Niza
CIISA/ Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Lisbon, Portugal

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