Content of Collagen, Elastin, and Water in Walls of the Internal Saphenous Vein in Man
Chemical analysis of the collagen, elastin, and water content of various segments of the internal saphenous vein in the human has been carried out. Normal values were obtained to give a basis for comparison with pathological material from varicosities. The following observations were made: (1) The ratio of connective tissue elements in the internal saphenous vein (ISV) is the reverse of that in the aortic wall; the ISV contains more collagen than elastin. (2) The total scatter of elastin and collagen values in the venous wall is large, mainly due to interindividual differences. No particular dependence on age was observed in the ambulant group. (3) Analysis of neighboring samples of vein in a given individual showed little variation. (4) There was a consistent difference in venous composition in a given individual between the superior segment at the insertion of the ISV into the femoral vein and the inferior segment at the level of the ankle. There was more collagen and elastin superiorly, and more muscle inferiorly. This corresponded to histological analysis showing a thicker layer of circular muscle in the media of the inferior segment. (5) The same differences in elastin content were found in infants who had not yet begun to walk; however, the infant group showed no superior-inferior differences in collagen and muscle composition of the venous wall. It is suggested that this latter difference is a function of upright posture and bipedal locomotion, and the attendant gradient of hydrostatic pressure.
- © 1962 American Heart Association, Inc.