Feasibility of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in healthy cats.
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Cats are predisposed to diseases of the biliary tract and the exocrine pancreas and these can be challenging to diagnose. In humans and dogs > 10 kg, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) has been successfully used to diagnose some of these disorders. The purpose of our study was to determine whether ERCP would also be feasible in cats using a pediatric duodenoscope. Four purpose-bred, clinically healthy, castrated domestic shorthair cats participated in two studies. Study 1 compared standard white light endoscopy with chromoendoscopy for localizing the major duodenal papilla. In Study 2 ERCP was performed. Repeated clinical examinations and measurements of serum feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (fPLI) were performed before and up to 18 hours after interventions on all cats. Chromoendoscopy was subjectively judged to be superior for localizing the major papilla. Insertion of the ERCP catheter was best accomplished when cats were in dorsal recumbency. Complete ERCP was successful in two cats. In the other cats, either retrograde cholangiography or pancreatography was possible. Serum fPLI concentrations increased temporarily in two cats during Study 2 when measured immediately, 2, 4, and 18 h after ERCP. Peak fPLI concentrations were detected either immediately after ERCP or 2 h later. No clinical signs of complications were observed within 18 h after the procedures. Findings indicated that ERCP is technically demanding but feasible in healthy cats. Future studies need to determine whether the temporary increases in serum fPLI concentrations are clinically important and to investigate the utility of ERCP in feline patients.