Identifying Cardiac Diseases using Cardiac Biomarkers in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Yu Ueda, Jo Ann L. Yee, Amber Williams, Jeffrey A. Roberts, Kari L. Christe, Joshua A. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Cardiac biomarkers are an important tool for diagnosing cardiac diseases in both human and veterinary patients. Serum concentrations of N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) have been used to indicate the presence of various cardiac diseases including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in various species including humans. However, these cardiac biomarkers have not been established as a diagnostic tool for detecting cardiac disease in rhesus macaques. In the rhesus macaque colony at the California National Primate Research Center, naturally occurring HCM and various other cardiac diseases have been identified. In this study, commercially available assays were used to measure serum cTnI and NT-proBNP concentrations to evaluate their utility as a diagnostic screening tool for cardiac diseases in rhesus macaques. This study revealed that the serum cTnI concentration was significantly higher in animals with echocardiographically apparent cardiac disease as compared with the animals that had no cardiac structural and functional changes (the control group). However, no significant differences were detected between animals with HCM and non-HCM cardiac disease. Because the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.81 when the serum cTnI was compared between the control and cardiac disease groups, serum cTnI was considered a moderately accurate test to predict the presence of cardiac disease. The optimal cut-off value of serum cTnI concentration for diagnosis of cardiac disease was 0.0085 ng/mL, with a sensitivity of 0.68 and specificity of 0.94. Significant but weak correlations were noted between the serum cTnI concentration and several echocardiographic parameters. Conversely, no significant differences in NT-proBNP concentrations were detected between animals with and without cardiac diseases. In conclusion, measurement of serum cTnI can be used to aid in diagnosing cardiac diseases in rhesus macaques. However, cTnI measurement does not replace echocardiographic evaluation to diagnose cardiac diseases in rhesus macaques due to the poor sensitivity of the assay and the weak correlation to with more established echocardiographic markers for cardiac disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-357
Number of pages10
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


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