Study finds that attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts using novel polyethylene band provides comparable outcome to cellophane

19 December 2022

Surgical management of portosystemic shunts is preferred to medical management due to improved survival and reduced frequency of clinical signs. As a high proportion of dogs cannot tolerate complete ligation at the time of surgery, gradual attenuation is preferred which requires use of a thin film band.  A number of different materials have been used over the years including cellophane, with varied clinical results.

The study “Short- and long-term outcomes of polyethylene band attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts in dogs: 60 cases (2010-2020)” set out to compare medical records for dogs that had undergone surgery using a novel, thin film, polyethylene band at a single institution with previously published studies using other materials.

The findings, based on 60 dogs, found that polyethylene band attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts resulted in good to excellent long-term outcomes with low peri-operative mortality – comparable to previous reports of thin film bands – with the advantage that the polyethylene material used is widely available and consistent, while being pre-sterilised and pre-folded makes it easy to use.

Owen Glenn from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, lead author on the study, said: “By using a source of polyethylene that is already available in most hospitals, a urinary catheter sleeve, we hope that our research will offer surgeons an alternative to cellophane and that a consistent composition could lead to more consistent outcomes following attenuation.”

Nicola Di Girolamo, Editor of JSAP concluded: “This study is an important first step towards the identification of a safe, effective, and widely available way to treat extrahepatic portosystemic shunt. The results shown in this initial case series are promising, and we hope the authors will follow up with additional comparative studies.”

The full article can be found in the December issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice and can be read online here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jsap.13552

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1 Glenn, O., Tomlinson, A., Pinchbeck, G. and Burrow, R. (2022), Short- and long-term outcomes of polyethylene band attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts in dogs: 60 cases (2010-2020). Journal of Small Animal Practice, Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jsap.13552