The influence of anesthetic with and without medetomidine on cardiac structure and function in sanctuary captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Aimee L. Drane*, Thalita Calvi, Yedra Feltrer, Bryony A. Curry, Joshua C. Tremblay, Ellie Louise Milnes, Eric Stöhr, Glyn Howatson, David Oxborough, Rob E. Shave

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dependent on timing of assessment, anesthetic agents and specifically medetomidine negatively affect cardiac function in great apes. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of tiletamine–zolazepam (TZ) with and without medetomidine on cardiac structure and function in healthy chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) during a period of relative blood pressure stability. Twenty-four chimpanzees living in an African wildlife sanctuary undergoing routine health assessments were stratified by age, sex, and body mass and randomized to be anesthetized using either TZ (6 mg/kg; n = 13; seven males and six females) or a combination of TZ (2 mg/kg) and medetomidine (TZM; 0.02 mg/kg; n = 11; five males and six females). During health checks, regular heart rate and blood pressure readings were taken and a standardized echocardiogram was performed 20–30 min after induction. Data were compared between the two anesthetic groups using independent-samples t or Mann–Whitney U tests. Although heart rate (mean ± SD; TZ: 76 ± 10 bpm; TZM: 65 ± 14 bpm, P = 0.027), cardiac output (TZ: 3.0 ± 0.7 L/min; TZM: 2.4 ± 0.7 L/min, P = 0.032), and mitral A-wave velocities (TZ: 0.51 ± 0.16 cm/s; TZM: 0.36 ± 0.10 cm/s, P = 0.013) were lower in the TZM group, there were no statistically significant differences in cardiac structure or the remaining functional variables between groups. Furthermore, there were no statistical differences in systolic (TZ 114.6 ± 14.9 mmHg; TZM: 123.0 ± 28.1 mmHg; P = 0.289) or diastolic blood pressure (TZ: 81.8 ± 22.3 mmHg, TZM: 83.8 ± 20.1 mmHg; P = 0.827) between the groups during the echocardiogram. This study has shown that during a period of relative blood pressure stability, during the first 20–30 min after induction there are few differences in measures of cardiac structure and function between protocols using TZ with or without medetomidine in healthy chimpanzees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-996
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2021

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