Small Animal Internal Medicine

Research Abstract

OT04 - An Investigation into Multi-Organ Fibrosis in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Friday, June 15
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: WSCC 615

Studies show Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) have a high prevalence of chronic, fibrosing pancreatitis; fibrotic renal lesions; and CNS perivascular fibrosis in syringomyelia.


We hypothesised that CKCS, irrespective of disease status, would have increased fibrosis in multiple organs compared with other breeds.


Post-mortem samples of CKCS were collected prospectively though a donation scheme available to owners and veterinarians. Collection was irrespective of disease state or antemortem diagnosis. Clinical information was obtained where possible. Liver, pancreas, kidney and lung were stored as formalin-fixed paraffin-imbedded samples. Tissues were matched by age and histopathologic diagnosis to tissues from non-CKCS breed dogs.  Sirius red staining, highlighting fibrosis, was performed and slides digitized for objective analysis. Software analysed for red staining and scored this as a proportion of the tissue volume. Those analysing were blinded to breed and pathologic diagnosis.


Forty CKCS (liver n=38; pancreas n=36; kidney n=37; lung n=35) & 31 non-CKCS (liver n=14; pancreas n=9; kidney n=11; lung n=12) were included, comprising 22 breeds.  There was no significant difference between organ fibrosis scores in CKCS and controls. However, in CKCS, moderate but significant correlations were identified between liver fibrosis and pancreas or lung fibrosis; additionally, significant correlation was found between lung and renal fibrosis. Insufficient cases with multiple organs precluded analysis in non-CKCS.


In conclusion, CKCS didn’t show increased fibrosis compared with matched controls, but fibrosis was correlated across organs. Further studies are indicated to assess multiple organs in other dog breeds to confirm the significance of this finding. 

James H. Warland, DECVIM (SAIM)

PhD Candidate
University of Cambridge

James graduated from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2009 and spent a couple of years in general, mixed practice. He is a European Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine having returned to Cambridge to complete his residency training. After his residency, James worked in specialist referral practice as a Senior Clinician at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, UK. In October, James started a PhD at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, part of the University of Cambridge.

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