J Biomed Transl Res.  2021 Sep;22(3):135-139. 10.12729/jbtr.2021.22.3.135.

Sudden cardiac death as a naturally-occurring ventricular hypertrophy in Macaca fascicularis

  • 1National Primate Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Ochang 28116, Korea
  • 2Futuristic Animal Resource & Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Ochang 28116, Korea
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Center, Chosun University Hospital, University of Chosun College of Medicine, Gwangju 61453, Korea
  • 4Department of Functional Genomics, KRIBB School of Bioscience, Korea University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34141, Korea
  • 5Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Heart Vascular Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 06351, Korea


Naturally occurring left ventricular hyperplasia is a rare but lethal disease. There are very few reports of this cardiac disease in captive nonhuman primates. In a colony of Macaca mulatta (Rhesus monkey) at California National Primate Research Center, a large number of rhesus macaques were diagnosed by autopsy with naturally occurring left ventricular hypertrophy without obvious underlying diseases over a 22-year period. The confirmatory diagnosis of ventricular hypertrophy was based on findings of notable left ventricular concentric hypertrophy with reduced left ventricular lumen, which is very similar to human ventricular hypertrophy cases. This report discusses an 11-year-old Macaca fascicularis monkey (Cynomolgus monkey, crab-eating macaque), weighing 2.95 kg, that was presented for enrollment in a pharmacokinetic (PK) study. During the PK experiment, the monkey died following a sudden decrease in percutaneous oxygen saturation and heart rate. Gross and histological examinations of the heart were performed. On gross pathology, the left ventricular wall was thickened, and the chamber lumen was reduced. In histopathological examination using hematoxylin-eosin and Masson-trichrome stains, fibrosis and myocyte disarray were not observed, but an increased cell density, compared to the normal heart, was confirmed. The autopsy results confirmed left ventricular hyperplasia as the major cause of death.


non-human primate; autopsy; hypertrophy; left ventricular; sudden cardiac death; pathology
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