Check out what these researchers at the Detroit Zoo are doing with gorillas.
Go to the BBC website to watch video of how Lincoln Park Zoo monitors their chimps’ hearts:
Steve Leonard finds out how vets in Chicago are implanting human heart monitors in chimpanzees. It may help save them from developing heart disease.
You can also read more on Lincoln Park Zoo’s website:
Veterinarians persuade the Detroit Zoo’s gorillas to undergo heart scans as part of the national Great Ape Heart Project.
Congratulations to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo veterinarian Julie Napier and her colleagues on the publication of their article: “Evaluating echocardiogram and indirect blood pressure results in male western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) during three phases of an anesthetic protocol” in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. The article is available now online at:
ABSTRACT: Until the majority of the great ape population is trained for conscious cardiac evaluations, most individuals will require general anesthesia to perform echocardiograms. Within the veterinary community, concern exists that certain anesthetic protocols may exacerbate or artificially induce signs of cardiac disease. Because of potential cardiovascular effects, medetomidine has generally been used cautiously in patients with cardiac disease. The combination of ketamine and medetomidine is frequently used by many institutions because of its reversibility. To date, no published studies have obtained physiologic or echocardiographic parameters comparing different anesthetic protocols. In this study, with the use of seven adult male gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) with and without cardiac disease, echocardiographic and indirect blood pressure data during three phases of an anesthetic protocol were collected. The initial echocardiographic study was completed with ketamine/medetomidine alone (5–7 mg/kg, i.m., and 0.05–0.07 mg/kg, i.m., respectively); the second study was completed after the addition of sevoflurane inhalant anesthesia to this procedure; and the third study was completed after reversal of medetomidine by administration of atipamezole (5:1 with the medetomidine dose given at induction). Without exception, ejection fractions were 15–25% lower under anesthesia with medetomidine as compared to ejection fractions after administration of atipamezole. Indirect blood pressures were higher on ketamine/medetomidine, lower with addition of sevoflurane, and considerably lower after administration of atipamezole.
Zoo Atlanta houses the largest gorilla collection in the United States with 22 gorillas, of which 18 individuals are trained for voluntary cardiac ultrasounds. Watch as keepers and our volunteer cardiac sonographer train for this procedure. Cardiac ultrasound training is made possible through partnership with sonographers from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Cardiac exam forms are submitted to the international database of The Great Ape Heart Project. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality among great apes living in zoological settings. The Great Ape Heart Project, headquartered at Zoo Atlanta, seeks to understand, diagnose, and treat cardiac disease across all four non-human great ape taxa (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos).
This video is intended as a training tool for other institutions; please use the time stamp links for referencing specific information.
39s — Zoo Atlanta training program for awake cardiac ultrasoundshttp://youtu.be/4utL6a4SmU4?t=39s
If you are interested in seeing the Tough Cuff in person and want to learn more about ordering one for your zoo, Bruce Harshe from Medical Engineering and Dev. Co will be at booth 20 at the upcoming American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) meeting in Salt Lake City.
Click here for the original post: Human heart disease recently found in chimpanzees.
To access a pdf of the publication:
Los Angeles — While in the past century there have been several documented examples of young, healthy athletes who have died suddenly of heart disease during competitive sporting events, a new study finds that this problem also extends to chimpanzees. According to an article published today in the SAGE journal Veterinary Pathology, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a human heart disease that causes sudden cardiac death in teenagers and young adults (particularly healthy athletes), has now been identified in chimpanzees.
“It is the first description of this condition in a primate species apart from humans,” stated primary author of the study Dr. Lydia Tong. “The circumstances of these two cases in chimpanzees mirror the common presentation of the condition in humans. The two half-brother chimps were teenagers apparently at their peak health (16 and 17 years old), and one of the chimp died suddenly during physical exertion.”
The chimpanzees had been living at a UK zoo when the deaths occurred in 2004 and 2008, and Professor Mary Sheppard, a specialist in Human Sudden Cardiac Death, was part of the team that helped perform the autopsies. Professor Sheppard examined the hearts as she would normally do for a young person who had died in similar circumstances. The specialist found that the changes in these hearts were nearly identical to those examined in humans.
“The big question is — what causes the disease in chimpanzees, and what are the common factors with human disease?” Dr. Tong stated. “In humans we know that there is a genetic component in about 50% of cases but the other factors are not well understood. It has been theorized that viral exposure, levels of exercise, and dietary variables may influence development of the condition in humans. More work needs to be done to determine if the same genetic changes may be occurring in affected chimpanzees, and whether other influences at play.”
Dr. Tong discussed the implications of this new finding for future research, “The bottom line is that this finding and similar future research will assist us in understanding and managing this disease of young otherwise healthy chimps, a tremendously important and endangered species. Furthermore, as the closest relative to the human, future research has the potential to help us understand the same disease in humans.”
To read an embargoed copy of the full article entitled “Fatal Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy in 2 Related Subadult Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)” published in Veterinary Pathology, please email email@example.com.
Veterinary Pathology (VET) is the premier international publication of basic and applied research involving domestic, laboratory, wildlife, marine and zoo animals, and poultry. Bridging the divide between natural and experimental diseases, the journal details the diagnostic investigations of diseases of animals; reports experimental studies on mechanisms of specific processes; provides unique insights into animal models of human disease; and presents studies on environmental and pharmaceutical hazards. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). http://vet.sagepub.com/
SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. http://www.sagepublications.com
In the past year or so, several zoos have approached the Great Ape Heart Project to ask about ordering a “Tough Cuff” through the company that Zoo Atlanta uses. Our website has a page dedicated to information about the Tough Cuff and how Zoo Atlanta uses it to collect blood pressure measurements voluntarily from trained adult male gorillas: http://greatapeheartproject.org/projects/blood-pressure/
The Tough Cuff is made of a durable (but expensive) polycarbonate, which is only sold in certain quantities. In addition to the expensive material, the design and measurements are particularly calibrated to work with the very large arms of adult male gorillas (33-45cm in diameter). Therefore, manufacturing the Tough Cuff can be very costly between purchasing the materials and calibrating the machinery for this very specialized piece. When multiple orders are made at the same time, the manufacturer only has to set up his machinery once, which means that the labor costs can be split between each zoo ordering the device. In 2012, the GAHP coordinated an order for 20 institutions across the country. We are now coordinating a second group-order that will likely be made towards the end of September.
The current estimate for the Tough Cuff is around $550, with this price going down slightly as more institutions order. This does not include a blood pressure cuff and monitoring device, nor the mesh cage sleeve that encases the Tough Cuff. The Tough Cuff is the plastic piece that holds the blood pressure cuff in place within a mesh sleeve.
Feel free to let colleagues know about this next order if you think they might be interested. Please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.