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The Korean Journal of Pathology 2002;36(5): 281-285.
Age-related Alterations of Normal Ascending Aorta among Koreans with Special Reference to Cystic Medial Necrosis.
Tae Jung Kwon, Dong Hwan Shin, Kyung Moo Yang, Nak Eun Chung
1Forensic Medicine Division, National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Seoul, Korea. tjkwon@nisi.go.kr
2Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
BACKGROUND: The specificity of aortic alteration in the pathogenesis of aortic dissection has been challenged. To obtain comprehensive morphologic data that may enhance the appreciation of the pathogenesis of aortic disease in normal aorta among Koreans, we performed a morphologic study of aorta with aging. METHODS: The histologic and morphometric studies of ascending aorta without cardiovascular disease were carried out on seventy-two autopsy cases. Alcian blue-stained sections were subjected to morphometric study using image analysis system. The age range of the cases was from newborn to those who had been in their eighties. RESULTS: The most prominent feature of aging aorta was fragmentation and loss of elastic lamellae, and expansion of interlamellar spaces. Cystic medial necrosis of varying degrees was observed in almost every specimen. On the morphometric study, the percentage area of mucoid degeneration revealed no statistically significant differences among the varying age groups. Compared to males, female subjects exhibited significant mucoid degeneration (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The alteration of elastic lamellae is increased with age. Cystic medial necrosis is not considered merely an aging phenomenon, but is enhanced in the aorta of females.
Key Words: Aortic Diseases; Age Factors; Pathology
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