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Open Access Detection of Systemic Amyloidosis in the Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina)

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Secondary amyloidosis is a progressive systemic disease for which there is no reliable diagnostic assay, preventive measure, or treatment. In an attempt to elucidate an antemortem diagnosis, 30 female pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) at the Washington National Primate Research Center were surveyed for amyloidosis. Amyloid was demonstrated histologically in 47% (14 of 30) of the animals. The distribution and severity of amyloid deposition was variable. Affected animals had a mean age (±1 standard deviation) of 13.2 ± 4.9 y, which was significantly greater than the mean age of unaffected animals (9.3 ± 4.1) y. Twelve tests were evaluated for detection of amyloidosis; the diagnostic value of each was determined through comparison of histologically positive and histologically negative animals. Diagnostic tests evaluated were endoscopic examination and biopsy of the stomach and colon, abdominal ultrasonography, hepatic radiology, serum amyloid A (SAA), endothelin 1, alpha-fetal protein, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, blood urea nitrogen, total bilirubin, C-reactive proteins, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Amyloidotic animals demonstrated a distinctive serologic profile: elevated SAA, GGT, and AST in combination with decreased total protein and albumin. Radiology demonstrated hepatomegaly in animals with hepatic amyloid deposition. In the absence of known infection or trauma, an amyloidotic serologic profile and radiologic hepatomegaly are consistent with systemic amyloidosis in M. nemestrina.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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