Hemodynamic consequences of cardiac malformations in two juvenile ball pythons (Python regius)

J Zoo Wildl Med. 2009 Dec;40(4):752-6. doi: 10.1638/2008-0209.1.


Two cases of bifid ventricles and cardiac malformations in juvenile ball python (Python regius) were investigated by blood pressure measurements and macro- and microscopic sectioning. A study of a normal ball python was included for reference. In both cases, all cardiac chambers were enlarged and abnormally shaped. Internal assessment of the ventricles revealed a pronounced defect of the muscular ridge, which normally is responsible for separating the systemic and pulmonary circuits. Consistent with the small muscular ridge, systolic pressures were identical in the pulmonary and systemic arteries, but, the snakes, nevertheless, lived to reach body weights severalfold of their hatchling weight.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Boidae / abnormalities*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / pathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / veterinary*