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Determination of echocardiographic parameters in conscious or sevoflurane-anesthetized green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

Grant number: 20/02439-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): August 22, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Clinics and Surgery
Principal researcher:Silvia Renata Gaido Cortopassi
Grantee:André Augusto Justo
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Sea turtles play emblematic roles in the preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems, yet all seven species found worldwide occupy critical categories of extinction. In addition to boat collisions and the fishing activity, fibropapillomatosis poses a constant threat to the population of green turtles (Chelonia mydas), which requires gas anaesthesia for the surgical excision of tumors. However, similarly to other reptiles, anaesthesiology is deemed an imprecise science in sea turtles, with little anaesthetic monitoring tools available. In this context, echocardiography proves to be a versatile and dynamic alternative for morphofunctional assessment of the cardiovascular system of sea turtles, both in the pre-anaesthetic clinical evaluation and during the transanaesthetic period. The specimens of C. mydas selected for this study are under treatment for fibropapillomatosis and will be released when completely rehabilitated. This study aims to describe the echocardiogram technique and determine the blood flow characteristic of the large vessels of conscious and anesthetized green turtles. By establishing echocardiographic reference values in C. mydas, the hemodynamic impact of gas anaesthesia can be further investigated when compared to data gathered from conscious animals, which certainly influences on the ability to manage anaesthesia in these patients, which in turn promotes reptile anaesthesiology. Besides, it will support the diagnosis of cardiovascular disorders by the reception of sea turtles in veterinary referral centres, which currently tends to be detected only during the post-mortem examination. (AU)

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