Cardiac Ultrasound Evaluations of Captive Gorillas: An Initial Report of the Gorilla Cardiac Database
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2009
Hayley Murphy Weston1, DVM; Ilana Kutinsky2, DO, FACC; William Devlin2, MD, FACC
1Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2Michigan Heart Group, Troy, MI, USA


There is increasing evidence that captive gorillas can develop cardiac disease. Diagnoses include fibrosing cardiomyopathy (FCM), congestive heart failure (CHF), hypertensive heart disease (HHD), aortic dissection (AD), and an isolated report of “atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.” The impact of these diseases in great apes is of significant concern, and has been the cause of profound morbidity and mortality. Knowledge of both normal and abnormal cardiac values is essential for early detection and treatment. Therefore, development of the Gorilla Cardiac Database was initiated. All AZA institutions housing gorillas were invited to participate in a population-based cohort study examining cardiovascular data collected from captive gorillas. This data included signalment, echocardiographic findings, electrocardiograms, blood pressure, and heart rate readings. Anesthetic regimes and physical examination findings were also requested. All participating institutions were sent a standardized data collection sheet. Echocardiographic findings were reviewed by investigators. Basic cardiac parameters measured in all gorillas were aortic root diameter (cm), and left atrial size (cm). Left ventricular (LV) internal diameter and septal and posterior wall thickness were measured in end diastole (LVIDd)(cm) and end systole (LVIDs)(cm). Left ventricular internal diameter and wall thickness measurements were performed at or just below the tips of the mitral leaflets in long and short axis views. Right sided chamber sizes were recorded when available. Fractional shortening (FS) and estimated EF were also measured. Color flow doppler analyses were examined and diastolic parameters, although not frequently available, were also reviewed. This is the initial report generated from the data collected.


Speaker Information
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Hayley Murphy Weston, DVM
Zoo Atlanta
Atlanta, GA, USA

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