Canine liver iron, copper, and zinc concentrations and association with histologic lesions

  • Schultheiss P
  • Bedwell C
  • Hamar D
 et al. 
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Concentrations of iron, copper, and zinc were measured in livers of 95 dogs that were suspected of having liver disease. Iron concentrations ranged from 177 to 7,680 ppm (dry weight basis); 54 dogs had iron concentrations greater than the normal concentration of 1,200 ppm. Iron stores were present in Kupffer cells and macrophages but not hepatocytes. The dogs did not have lesions of hemochromatosis. Dogs with high liver iron tended to have high liver copper and inflammatory lesions. High liver copper concentrations usually were associated with hepatocellular necrosis and fibrosis. High liver zinc was found in only 5 animals and was accompanied by histologic inflammatory lesions in one. In humans, increased iron concentration in the liver exacerbates liver damage caused by a variety of insults, and the same may be true for dogs.

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  • Patricia C. Schultheiss

  • Cathy L. Bedwell

  • Dwayne W. Hamar

  • Martin J. Fettman

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