Fax Asymptomatic Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Show Histological Signs of Progression: A Quantitative Histochemical Analysis

Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Pathobiology (Impact Factor: 2.48). 01/2013; 80(1). DOI: 10.1159/000339304


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a serious disease due to its covert nature, relatively high prevalence and fatal prognosis in the case of rupture. To obtain new insights into AAA pathogenesis, we examined the relationships between histopathology, multiplex in vitro immunoassay data, diameter and symptomatology.

In a prospective, non-randomised study, we evaluated samples from 6 normal infrarenal aortae and 65 AAA patients (65 walls, 55 thrombi). The AAA patients were either asymptomatic (n = 44), symptomatic (n = 7) or with ruptured AAA (n = 14). The AAA diameter was classified as small (<5 cm, n = 18), medium (5-7 cm, n = 26) and large (>7 cm, n = 21). We quantified the histopathology of the AAA wall and the adjacent thrombus. We assessed the expression of proteins in the same samples.

Asymptomatic AAAs had walls with more abundant inflammatory infiltrates, lower amounts of PAI-1, a higher number of tPA-positive elements, a tendency towards decreased collagen content, whereas the adjacent thrombi had a greater concentration of VCAM-1 and MMP-2 when compared with symptomatic AAAs. Compared with the aneurysmatic aorta, the normal aorta contained less collagen and more elastin, actin, desmin and PAI-1-positive elements; in addition, it was more vascular. Medium-sized AAAs were the most actin and vimentin rich, and large AAAs were the most vascular.

Our results show that asymptomatic AAA walls often have more potentially deleterious histopathological alterations than symptomatic AAA walls. This result indicates that a progression from an asymptomatic AAA to rupture can be expected and screening patients who are at risk of rupture could be beneficial.

Download full-text


Available from: Zbynek Tonar, Mar 20, 2014
  • Source
    • "VSMCs can modulate their phenotype from contractile (more actin and desmin) to synthesis (less actin and desmin, more vimentin, and higher proliferative activity) (Miyazaki et al., 2002; Owens et al., 2004; Boccardi et al., 2007). Actin, desmin, and vimentin can be detected in both porcine and human aortic samples using the same antibodies, their immunopositivity is robust and therefore easily to be quantified (Witter et al., 2010; Houdek et al., 2013; Eberlova et al., 2013). The Advanced models of the aortic wall are currently able to link the macroscopic mechanical behavior of the whole arteries with the cytoskeletal filaments of individual VSMCs (Unterberger et al., 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The porcine aorta is often used in studies on morphology, pathology, transplantation surgery, vascular and endovascular surgery, and biomechanics of the large arteries. Using quantitative histology and stereology, we estimated the area fraction of elastin, collagen, alpha-smooth muscle actin, vimentin, and desmin within the tunica media in 123 tissue samples collected from five segments (thoracic ascending aorta; aortic arch; thoracic descending aorta; suprarenal abdominal aorta; and infrarenal abdominal aorta) of porcine aortae from growing domestic pigs (n=25), ranging in age from 0 to 230 days. The descending thoracic aorta had the greatest elastin fraction, which decreased proximally toward the aortic arch as well as distally toward the abdominal aorta. Abdominal aortic segments had the highest fraction of actin, desmin, and vimentin positivity and all of these vascular smooth muscle markers were lower in the thoracic aortic segments. No quantitative differences were found when comparing the suprarenal abdominal segments with the infrarenal abdominal segments. The area fraction of actin within the media was comparable in all age groups and it was proportional to the postnatal growth. Thicker aortic segments had more elastin and collagen with fewer contractile cells. The collagen fraction decreased from ascending aorta and aortic arch toward the descending aorta. By revealing the variability of the quantitative composition of the porcine aorta, the results are suitable for planning experiments with the porcine aorta as a model, i.e. power test analyses and estimating the number of samples necessary to achieving a desirable level of precision. The complete primary morphometric data, in the form of continuous variables, are made publicly available for biomechanical modeling of site-dependent distensibility and compliance of the porcine aorta. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger: official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary artery banding (PAB) is used as a surgical palliation to reduce excessive pulmonary blood flow caused by congenital heart defects. Due to the lack of microscopic studies dealing with the tissue remodeling caused by contemporary PAB materials, this study aimed to assess histologic changes associated with PAB surgery by analyzing local tissue reaction to the presence of Gore-Tex strips fixed around the pulmonary artery. Gore-Tex strips were used for PAB in a growing porcine model. After 5 weeks, histologic samples with PAB (n = 5) were compared with healthy pulmonary arterial segments distal to the PAB or from a sham-treated animal (n = 1). Stereology was used to quantify the density of the vasa vasorum and the area fraction of elastin, smooth muscle actin, macrophages, and nervi vasorum within the pulmonary arterial wall. The null hypothesis stated that samples did not differ histopathologically from adjacent vascular segments or sham-treated samples. The PAB samples had a greater area fraction of macrophages, a lower amount of nervi vasorum, and a tendency toward decreased smooth muscle content compared with samples that had no PAB strips. There was no destruction of elastic membranes, no medionecrosis, no pronounced inflammatory infiltration or foreign body reaction, and no vasa vasorum deficiency after the PAB. All the histopathologic changes were limited to the banded vascular segment and did not affect distal parts of the pulmonary artery. The study results show the tissue reaction of palliative PAB and suggest that Gore-Tex strips used contemporarily for PAB do not cause severe local histologic damage to the banded segment of the pulmonary arterial wall after 5 weeks in a porcine PAB model.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Pediatric Cardiology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Accurately estimating patient-specific rupture risk remains a primary challenge in timing interventions for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). By re-analyzing published biaxial mechanical testing data from surgically repaired human AAAs, material anisotropy emerged as a potentially important determinant of patient-specific lesion progression. That is, based on a new classification scheme, we discovered that anisotropic aneurysmal specimens correlated with increased patient age at surgery when compared with more isotropic specimens (79.7 vs. 70.9 years, p<0.002), despite no significant difference in maximum diameter. Furthermore, using an idealized axisymmetric, finite-element growth and remodeling model of AAA progression, we found that both the initial axial extent of elastin loss and ongoing damage to elastin in the shoulder region of the AAA directly affected the degree of anisotropy as the lesion evolved, with more extensive insults increasing the anisotropy. This effect appeared to be mediated by alterations in axial loading and subsequent differences in orientation of deposited collagen fibers. While the observed increased age before surgical intervention may suggest a potential benefit of anisotropic remodeling, future biaxial tests coupled with pre-surgical data on expansion rates and detailed theoretical analyses of the biostability of a lesion as a function of anisotropy will be required to verify its clinical relevance to patient-specific rupture risk.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Biomechanics
Show more