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Nov 30, 2009

Evaluation of the Protein: cardiac Troponin I

Evaluation of the Protein: cardiac Troponin I from ZSL - London Zoo

This project is a technique for the evaluation of the Protein: cardiac Troponin I, using a commercially-available hand-held clinical analyser, to diagnose and treat cardiac disease in zoo species

Assessment for cardiac function is critical in the management of captive zoo species.

In young animals cardiac disease with a suspected genetic component needs exclusion from breeding programmes. Increasing longevity in captivity has led to geriatric diseases, including cardiac disease, requiring individual veterinary management.

Troponin is a contractile, protein complex found in striated muscle. The complex cardiac Troponin I (cTnI) is specific to myocardium. It is released from damaged myocytes following insults causing cell trauma or death. These include ischaemia, hypoxia, toxic or mechanical damage.

Recent advances in human and domestic animal medicine have shown cTnI to be the biomarker of choice in diagnosing myocardial damage. Pathologies linked to elevated cTnI include myocardial infarction, myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, cardio-specific toxicoses and blunt trauma.

Since November 2007 the Veterinary Department at ZSL-London Zoo has been selectively testing for cTnI. Initially it carried out a project with the aim to validate and establish normal physiological ranges of cTnI in a wide variety of exotic species. Latterly the test has been used to diagnose and monitor the treatment of cardiac disease in individuals.

The commercially-available Heska iSTAT® 1 hand-held clinical analyser was used for all samples. This was used in conjunction with the compatible commercial test-kits.

We have found subsequently cTnI to be a very useful tool in specific mammalian species for diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of some cardiac diseases and for assessment of secondary cardiac damage due to other disease states, such as septicaemia or renal damage.

Developed by:  ZSL - London Zoo

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