Spontaneous mitral valve prolapse in a breading colony of rhesus monkeys

M. M. Swindle, J. R. Blum, S. D. Lima, J. L. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitral valve prolapse was observed in 26 of 92 animals in a harem breeding colony of rhesus monkeys (<Macaca mulatta). The affected animals had a systolic murmur best auscultated over the mitral region with the animal in a sitting position. Mid-to-late systolic clicks were also heard. Phonocardiographic examination also demonstrated systolic murmurs and clicks in six of 16 animals. Twenty-three of the animals were studied by M mode and/or two-dimensional echocardiography. The diagnosis was confirmed in 12 animals that had a murmur during the examination. Electrocardiograms revealed T wave abnormalities in five animals and left or right ventricular hypertrophy in five. Four adult animals that died during the course of the study were confirmed at necropsy as having prolapse of the posterior and/or anterior mitral valve leaflets into the atrium. Analysis of the breeding records suggested that mitral valve prolapse was a dominant genetic trait with an approximate birth incidence of 16% to 20% in the colony. The existence of mitral valve prolapse in a nonhuman primate species provides a unique opportunity to study the disease in an experimental animal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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