Further information for clinical assessment


It is not uncommon for great ape heart disease to present as sudden or unexpected death.

We therefore need to be actively screening individuals for disease, especially those to be considered ‘at risk’.

We advise cardiac assessment of great apes at any opportunity. The information and samples gathered will aid in the detection of disease at an early stage, but will also contribute to a clinically valuable database.

If you are anaesthetising a great ape please do the following:


Cardiovascular evaluation:

1)      To include echocardiography, blood pressure assessment +/- ECG

  • Where possible, this should be performed by a qualified veterinary/human cardiologist


2)      Cardiac biomarker assessment.

  • If possible, please measure serum BNP and troponin for each animal undergoing cardiac assessment
  • These samples often require specific handling (e.g. immediate freezing) -check with your lab for details


Sample collection:

For all animals undergoing anaesthesia, we request that the following samples are collected.

1)      Blood

  • 10ml if possible (minimum 2ml) in EDTA
  • Stored at -20°C and posted as soon as possible


2)      Serum

  • 5ml if possible (minimum 2ml), centrifuged and separated prior to shipping
  • Stored at -20°C and posted as soon as possible


3)      Urine

  • If urine is collected for routine assessment or an opportunistic free catch sample is available, please send 5-10mls (frozen at -20′C)


Contact us

For further support or any questions, please email us at heartproject@twycrosszoo.org


Opening Times: 10am - 6pm