Cardiovascular evaluation of lowland gorillas

Randall E. Junge From the St Louis Zoological Park, 1 Government Dr, St Louis, MO 63110 (Junge, Weber); Mercy Cardiology Clinic, 621 New Ballas Rd, St Louis, MO 53141 (Mezei); and Veterinary Imaging Specialists, 12462 Natural Bridge Rd, St Louis, MO 63122 (Muhlbauer).

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Leslie E. Mezei From the St Louis Zoological Park, 1 Government Dr, St Louis, MO 63110 (Junge, Weber); Mercy Cardiology Clinic, 621 New Ballas Rd, St Louis, MO 53141 (Mezei); and Veterinary Imaging Specialists, 12462 Natural Bridge Rd, St Louis, MO 63122 (Muhlbauer).

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Michael C. Muhlbauer From the St Louis Zoological Park, 1 Government Dr, St Louis, MO 63110 (Junge, Weber); Mercy Cardiology Clinic, 621 New Ballas Rd, St Louis, MO 53141 (Mezei); and Veterinary Imaging Specialists, 12462 Natural Bridge Rd, St Louis, MO 63122 (Muhlbauer).

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Martha Weber From the St Louis Zoological Park, 1 Government Dr, St Louis, MO 63110 (Junge, Weber); Mercy Cardiology Clinic, 621 New Ballas Rd, St Louis, MO 53141 (Mezei); and Veterinary Imaging Specialists, 12462 Natural Bridge Rd, St Louis, MO 63122 (Muhlbauer).

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Objective

To design a diagnostic protocol that uses appropriate techniques, including ultrasonography, to assess cardiovascular health and detect primary cardiac diseases in gorillas and to establish a database of reference values for cardiac measurements in clinically normal gorillas.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

5 adult male lowland gorillas from 11 to 18 years old.

Procedure

A complete cardiac evaluation was performed on anesthetized gorillas, including physical examination, thoracic radiography, electrocardiography, echocardiography, blood pressure determination, CBC, serum biochemical analyses, and serologic assay for viral diseases. Standard cardiac measurements were made from images collected during ultrasonography.

Results

Cardiac measurements derived from ultrasonographic images were consistent with those considered normal in human beings. Results of other diagnostic tests were also considered normal.

Clinical Implications

Cardiac disease is the primary cause of mortality in old captive gorillas. The technique used here provided excellent evaluation of cardiac function. Use of these techniques will allow early detection of cardiac disease, making treatment or medical management possible. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:413-415)

Objective

To design a diagnostic protocol that uses appropriate techniques, including ultrasonography, to assess cardiovascular health and detect primary cardiac diseases in gorillas and to establish a database of reference values for cardiac measurements in clinically normal gorillas.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

5 adult male lowland gorillas from 11 to 18 years old.

Procedure

A complete cardiac evaluation was performed on anesthetized gorillas, including physical examination, thoracic radiography, electrocardiography, echocardiography, blood pressure determination, CBC, serum biochemical analyses, and serologic assay for viral diseases. Standard cardiac measurements were made from images collected during ultrasonography.

Results

Cardiac measurements derived from ultrasonographic images were consistent with those considered normal in human beings. Results of other diagnostic tests were also considered normal.

Clinical Implications

Cardiac disease is the primary cause of mortality in old captive gorillas. The technique used here provided excellent evaluation of cardiac function. Use of these techniques will allow early detection of cardiac disease, making treatment or medical management possible. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:413-415)

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