Liver lipidosis is a metabolic disorder mostly observed in high yielding dairy cattle, especially during the transition period. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between hepatic lipid infiltration, biochemical indicators of liver function, and body condition score (BCS) variation in dairy cows. Fifty-one multiparous Holstein cows raised in a confined system were evaluated. Liver biopsies and blood samples were collected, and BCS was measured on days 3 and 28 postpartum. Lipid infiltration was determined by histologic examination. The plasma activity of aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl transferase and concentration of beta-hydroxybutyrate, non-esterified fatty acids, albumin, total bilirubin, and cholesterol were determined. BCS was measured using objective (camera) and subjective (visual) methods. Mild lipid infiltration was found in 3.92% of cows sampled on day 3 and 5.88% on day 28. Bilirubin was significantly higher on day 3 than on day 28 postpartum, and cholesterol was significantly higher on day 28 than on day 3 in all cows. There was no difference in biochemical analytes between cows with and without lipidosis. On day 3, mean subjective BCS was 3.10 and objective BCS was 3.16, while on day 28, these scores were 2.91 and 2.99, respectively. The calculated liver function index (LFI) was found to be a more sensitive indicator of liver function than the hepatic analytes evaluated. No correlation between BCS variation and lipid infiltration was found. Cholesterol and bilirubin levels showed the most remarkable changes during the early postpartum period. LFI is a potential indicator of postpartum liver function.
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