Abstract We investigated whether and how the severity of medial degeneration lesions varies along the circumference of the dilated intrapericardial aorta. Two groups of aortic wall specimens, respectively harvested in the convexity and concavity of ascending aorta in 72 patients undergoing surgery for dilatation of the intrapericardial aorta associated with aortic valve disease, were separately sent for pathology, morphometry, and ultrastructural examination. Cystic medial necrosis, fibrosis, and elastic fiber fragmentation were classified into three degrees of severity; their mean degree and morphometric findings in the convexity and in the concavity specimens were compared by paired t-test. Correlation between echocardiographic degree of aortic dilatation and severity of medial degeneration was assessed separately for each of the two groups of specimens. Morphologically, medial degeneration was found in all cases; a higher mean degree was found in the convexity group (2.39 ± 0.58 vs 1.44 ± 0.65 in the concavity group; P < 0.001). At morphometry normal smooth muscle cells in the convexity specimens were significantly reduced (P = 0.007); the length (P = 0.012) and number (P = 0.009) of elastic fibers reduced and increased, respectively. Moreover, in the convexity specimens a significantly smaller amount of smooth muscle cells and an increase of immunohistochemical labeling of apoptosis-associated proteins in the subintimal layer of the media was noticed. Correlation between aortic ratio and medial degeneration degree was significant in the convexity group (P < 0.001), but not in the concavity group (P = 0.249). Scanning electron microscopy analysis confirmed morphological results and allowed us to better distinguish the early pathological cavities from the microvessels, which were in the outer media in normal aorta and ubiquitous in aortitis or atherosclerosis. Electron transmission microscopy analysis showed changes in the extracellular matrix and smooth muscle cells, and these changes increased from the intima to the adventitial layer of the media. In dilated intrapericardial aorta, medial degeneration changes and expression of apoptosis-associated proteins are more marked in the ascending aorta convexity, likely due to hemodynamic stress asymmetry. Ultrastructural findings allow us to distinguish the early medial changes not yet evident on light microscopy.

Ascending aorta dilatation in aortic valve disease: morphological analysis of medial changes

AGOZZINO, Lucio;SANTE', Pasquale;FERRARACCIO, Franca;ACCARDO, Marina;DE FEO, Marisa;DE SANTO LS;NAPPI, Gianantonio;
2006

Abstract

Abstract We investigated whether and how the severity of medial degeneration lesions varies along the circumference of the dilated intrapericardial aorta. Two groups of aortic wall specimens, respectively harvested in the convexity and concavity of ascending aorta in 72 patients undergoing surgery for dilatation of the intrapericardial aorta associated with aortic valve disease, were separately sent for pathology, morphometry, and ultrastructural examination. Cystic medial necrosis, fibrosis, and elastic fiber fragmentation were classified into three degrees of severity; their mean degree and morphometric findings in the convexity and in the concavity specimens were compared by paired t-test. Correlation between echocardiographic degree of aortic dilatation and severity of medial degeneration was assessed separately for each of the two groups of specimens. Morphologically, medial degeneration was found in all cases; a higher mean degree was found in the convexity group (2.39 ± 0.58 vs 1.44 ± 0.65 in the concavity group; P < 0.001). At morphometry normal smooth muscle cells in the convexity specimens were significantly reduced (P = 0.007); the length (P = 0.012) and number (P = 0.009) of elastic fibers reduced and increased, respectively. Moreover, in the convexity specimens a significantly smaller amount of smooth muscle cells and an increase of immunohistochemical labeling of apoptosis-associated proteins in the subintimal layer of the media was noticed. Correlation between aortic ratio and medial degeneration degree was significant in the convexity group (P < 0.001), but not in the concavity group (P = 0.249). Scanning electron microscopy analysis confirmed morphological results and allowed us to better distinguish the early pathological cavities from the microvessels, which were in the outer media in normal aorta and ubiquitous in aortitis or atherosclerosis. Electron transmission microscopy analysis showed changes in the extracellular matrix and smooth muscle cells, and these changes increased from the intima to the adventitial layer of the media. In dilated intrapericardial aorta, medial degeneration changes and expression of apoptosis-associated proteins are more marked in the ascending aorta convexity, likely due to hemodynamic stress asymmetry. Ultrastructural findings allow us to distinguish the early medial changes not yet evident on light microscopy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/181691
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