Ultrasonographic-guided fine-needle aspirates are routinely used to confirm a diagnosis of HL in cats and to identify suppurative septic inflammation and neoplasia. However, definitive diagnosis of hepatic disease is otherwise impossible with liver aspirates because the absence of acinar architecture compromises anatomic orientation and correct interpretations. Neither neoplasia nor sepsis can be definitively ruled out using cytology, and inflammatory disease is too often suspected. Cytology should not be the basis for recommending immunomodulatory or antifibrotic medications or longterm chelation therapy for copper-associated hepatopathy.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Sharon A. Center, DVM, DACVIM