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Open Access Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Owl Monkeys (Aotus spp.)

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Cardiac hypertrophy is a common postmortem finding in owl monkeys. In most cases the animals do not exhibit clinical signs until the disease is advanced, making antemortem diagnosis of subclinical disease difficult and treatment unrewarding. We obtained echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, and thoracic radiographs from members of a colony of owl monkeys that previously was identified as showing a 40% incidence of gross myocardial hypertrophy at necropsy, to assess the usefulness of these modalities for antemortem diagnosis. No single modality was sufficiently sensitive and specific to detect all monkeys with cardiac hypertrophy. Electrocardiography was the least sensitive method for detecting owl monkeys with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Thoracic radiographs were more sensitive than was electrocardiography in this context but cannot detect animals with concentric hypertrophy without an enlarged cardiac silhouette. Echocardiography was the most sensitive method for identifying cardiac hypertrophy in owl monkeys. The most useful parameters suggestive of left ventricular hypertrophy in our owl monkeys were an increased average left ventricular wall thickness to chamber radius ratio and an increased calculated left ventricular myocardial mass. Parameters suggestive of dilative cardiomyopathy were an increased average left ventricular myocardial mass and a decreased average ratio of left ventricular free wall thickness to left ventricular chamber radius. When all 4 noninvasive diagnostic modalities (physical examination, echocardiography, electrocardiography, and thoracic radiography) were used concurrently, the probability of detecting hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in owl monkeys was increased greatly.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA 2: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA. [email protected] 3: Department of Clinical Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, USA 4: Office of Laboratory Animal Resources, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA 5: Comparative Medicine Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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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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