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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To generate reference intervals for ECG variables in clinically normal chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

ANIMALS 100 clinically normal (51 young [< 10 years old] and 49 adult [≥ 10 years old]) wild-born chimpanzees.

PROCEDURES Electrocardiograms collected between 2009 and 2013 at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre were assessed to determine heart rate, PR interval, QRS duration, QT interval, QRS axis, P axis, and T axis. Electrocardiographic characteristics for left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and morphology of the ST segment, T wave, and QRS complex were identified. Reference intervals for young and old animals were calculated as mean ± 1.96•SD for normally distributed data and as 5th to 95th percentiles for data not normally distributed. Differences between age groups were assessed by use of unpaired Student t tests.

RESULTS Reference intervals were generated for young and adult wild-born chimpanzees. Most animals had sinus rhythm with small or normal P wave morphology; 24 of 51 (47%) young chimpanzees and 30 of 49 (61%) adult chimpanzees had evidence of LVH as determined on the basis of criteria for humans.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cardiac disease has been implicated as the major cause of death in captive chimpanzees. Species-specific ECG reference intervals for chimpanzees may aid in the diagnosis and treatment of animals with, or at risk of developing, heart disease. Chimpanzees with ECG characteristics outside of these intervals should be considered for follow-up assessment and regular cardiac monitoring.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine potential relationships between ECG characteristics and echocardiographic measures of cardiac structure in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

ANIMALS

341 chimpanzees (175 males and 166 females) from 5 sanctuaries and 2 zoological collections.

PROCEDURES

Chimpanzees were anesthetized for routine health examinations between May 2011 and July 2017 as part of the International Primate Heart Project and, during the same anesthetic events, underwent 12-lead ECG and transthoracic echocardiographic assessments. Relationships between results for ECG and those for echocardiographic measures of atrial areas, left ventricular internal diameter in diastole (LVIDd), and mean left ventricular wall thicknesses (MLVWT) were assessed with correlational analysis, then multiple linear regression analyses were used to create hierarchical models to predict cardiac structure from ECG findings.

RESULTS

Findings indicated correlations (r = −0.231 to 0.310) between results for ECG variables and echocardiographic measures. The duration and amplitude of P waves in lead II had the strongest correlations with atrial areas. The Sokolow-Lyon criteria, QRS-complex duration, and R-wave amplitude in leads V6 and II had the strongest correlations with MLVWT, whereas the Sokolow-Lyon criteria, QRS-complex duration, and S-wave amplitude in leads V2 and V1 had the strongest correlations with LVIDd. However, the ECG predictive models that were generated only accounted for 17%, 7%, 11%, and 8% of the variance in the right atrial end-systolic area, left atrial end-systolic area, MLVWT, and LVIDd, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that relationships existed between ECG findings and cardiac morphology in the chimpanzees of the present study; however, further research is required to examine whether the predictive models generated can be modified to improve their clinical utility.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To comprehensively characterize cardiac structure and function, from infancy to adulthood, in male and female wild-born captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) living in sanctuaries.

ANIMALS

290 wild-born captive chimpanzees.

PROCEDURES

Physical and echocardiographic examinations were performed on anesthetized chimpanzees in 3 sanctuaries in Africa between October 2013 and May 2017. Results were evaluated across age groups and between sexes, and potential differences were assessed with multiple 1-way independent Kruskal-Wallis tests.

RESULTS

Results indicated that left ventricular diastolic and systolic function declined at a younger age in males than in females. Although differences in right ventricular diastolic function were not identified among age groups, right ventricular systolic function was lower in adult chimpanzees (> 12 years old), compared with subadult (8 to 12 years old) and juvenile (5 to 7 years old) chimpanzees. In addition, male subadult and adult chimpanzees had larger cardiac wall dimensions and chamber volumes than did their female counterparts.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of the present study provided useful reference intervals for cardiac structure and function in captive chimpanzees categorized on the basis of age and sex; however, further research is warranted to examine isolated and combined impacts of blood pressure, age, body weight, and anesthetic agents on cardiac structure and function in chimpanzees.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research