Aortic pulse wave velocity, elasticity, and composition in a nonhuman primate model of atherosclerosis.
Aortic pulse wave velocity was determined in Macaca fascicularis monkeys fed either atherogenic or control diets for 36 months. The foot-to-foot velocity and apparent phase velocities of the second through seventh Fourier harmonics at a given diastolic pressure in the atherosclerotic monkeys were 1.5 to 2.0 times the values for the control animals. More than 80% of the aortic intimal surface of the atherosclerotic monkeys was covered with fibrous or fatty plaque, which approximately doubled wall thickness and wall thickness to radius ratio. Angiochemical evaluations showed no difference in collagen or elastin concentration (as a fraction of lipid and mineral-free dried aorta), but the atherosclerotic aortas were 1.5 to 2.0 times that of control in collagen and elastin content (defined as the absolute quantity beneath a square centimeter of intimal surface). Total cholesterol and calcium concentrations in the atherosclerotic aortas were more than 10 times the values for the control aortas. The static circumferential distensibility of the excised atherosclerotic aortas was significantly less than control, but there was no difference in incremental (Young's) modulus of elasticity. The in vitro pressure-strain elastic modulus of the atherosclerotic aortas was more than twice that of control, which was predicted from the enhanced wave velocity. The significantly increased stiffness of the atherosclerotic arteries appeared to be due mainly to the increased wall thickness caused by the atherosclerotic plaques rather than to material changes described by Young's modulus. Extensive medial damage, however, also was present and could have had a major influence on stiffness. Atherosclerosis therefore can result in increased aortic stiffening, detectable by pulse wave velocity, even if there is no change in the overall Young's modulus of elasticity.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association