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9 January 2020 GREAT APE HEART PROJECT GUIDELINES FOR THE ECHOCARDIOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT OF GREAT APES
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Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been identified as a major cause of mortality in all four great ape taxa in zoologic institutions. In an effort to better understand and treat CVD in captive great apes, a program called the Great Ape Heart Project (GAHP), based at Zoo Atlanta, collects and maintains a database of echocardiograms and other relevant medical information relating to the cardiac health status of great apes. Cardiac health assessments have become standard practice among North American zoos that house great apes and are recommended by all four great ape Species Survival Plans (SSP) for the assessment of CVD in captive great apes. As of December 31, 2017, more than 70 ape-holding institutions have submitted approximately 1,100 cardiac examinations of great apes to the GAHP, information from which is stored in the GAHP database. Transthoracic echocardiography is one of the most practical and cost-effective diagnostic imaging techniques for the evaluation of cardiac function in great apes. Standardization of echocardiographic measurements is critical for maximizing the diagnostic value of an echocardiographic exam and for utilization of stored information in comparative studies within and between the great ape taxa. The following manuscript offers suggestions for standardization of nomenclature, imaging technique, echocardiographic measurements, data storage, and reporting of cardiac exams for submission into the GAHP database with the goal of promoting consistency and quality in data collection.

Copyright 2019 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Roberta Boyd, Marietta D. Danforth, Gregg Rapoport, Meg M. Sleeper, William H. Devlin, Ilana Kutinsky, Benjamin Brainard, and Hayley W. Murphy "GREAT APE HEART PROJECT GUIDELINES FOR THE ECHOCARDIOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT OF GREAT APES," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 50(4), 822-836, (9 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.1638/2018-0164
Accepted: 6 September 2019; Published: 9 January 2020
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