What is the current thinking on feline triaditis: does it even exist?

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The term ‘triaditis’ is used to refer to concurrent pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in cats. It was first reported in a case series in 1996 in which an association with nephritis was also found. The disease associations were controversial for many years, but more recent clinical, post mortem and imaging studies provide strong evidence for concurrent disease in two or three of the gut, pancreas and liver in a significant number of cats. The reason for these associations remain speculative. It is very likely that cats suffer from not one but several different biliary tract diseases, some of which may be associated with pancreatitis and/or IBD and some of which might not. The relative involvement of bacteria, immune-mediated disease or sphincter of Oddi dysfunction remain unclear, the optimal treatment is unknown and even studies on the long term follow up of cases are lacking. Many questions still remain and future studies hope to characterise the disease better including advanced imaging of the biliary tract and the role of feline autoantibodies. Ultimately, we need better understanding to allow more effective diagnosis and treatment of cats in the future.

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