Successful Transabdominal Subxiphoid Pericardiostomy to Relieve Chronic Pericardial Effusion in a 46-Year-Old Female Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelli)
1Veterinary Services, San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA, USA; 2San Diego School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
During a preventive medicine examination in July 2006, a 46-year-old female Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelli) was diagnosed with pericardial effusion and dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical signs were not apparent for the next 6 month. In January 2007, pericardiocentesis was performed, but provided only short-term relief. The pericardial effusion continued to accumulate over the next 4 months to a point that intervention was again required. In May 2007, a pericardial-peritoneal window was created using a transabdominal subxiphoid pericardiosotomy technique, providing immediate and long-term relief. Eight months later the orangutan was euthanatized due to worsening heart failure and no pericardial effusion was present.