An exploratory investigation of echocardiographic parameters and the effects of posture on cardiac structure and function in the Livingstone's fruit bat (Pteropus livingstonii)
Drane, Aimee L.
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There is growing evidence that dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) maybe a major cause of death in captive Livingstone’s fruit bats (Pteropus livingstonii). Therefore, the primary aim of this prospective, exploratory study was to examine whether a systematic cardiac ultrasound protocol is feasible in this critically endangered species and to report basic measures of cardiac structure and function from a cohort of apparently healthy bats. A secondary aim was to establish the effect posture (dorsal recumbency vs. roosting) has upon cardiac function in this species. Transthoracic echocardiograms, including 2D, Doppler and tissue Doppler measures of cardiac structure and function were completed as part of routine health examinations (n=19). Bats were then grouped by age and disease status and the mean and range data reported for each group. In healthy adult bats, with the exception of a reduction in heart rate (p=<0.05), right atrial systolic area (p=<0.05) and right ventricular velocity during atrial contraction, there were no significant changes in cardiac structure or function in response to the roosting position. However, in the bats presenting with dilated cardiomyopathy the current data suggest that left ventricular ejection fraction is improved whilst roosting. Further work is required to confirm our initial findings, generate diagnostic reference intervals and to explore the causes of DCM in this species.
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound;
Drane, A.L., Shave, R., Routh, A. and Barbon, A. (2017) 'An exploratory investigation of echocardiographic parameters and the effects of posture on cardiac structure and function in the Livingstone's fruit bat (Pteropus livingstonii)', Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound DOI 10.1111/vru.12539
This article was published in Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound on 6 September 2017 (online), available at https://doi.org/10.1111/vru.12539
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