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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 261-265

Morphologic and Morphometric Evaluation of the Carotid Artery Wall: A Cadaver-Based Light and Scanning Electron Microscopic Study

1 Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey
3 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hilal Nakkas
Department of Histology-Embryology, Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University School of Medicine, Ihsan Dogramaci Boulevard, 3rd Km. Cankaya, Ankara
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jasi.jasi_168_21

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Introduction: A variety of changes occur on the elastic artery wall with age. Ultrastructural studies made in this area are mostly animal based. We aimed to evaluate wall changes and three-dimensional organization of the elastic lamellae with aging in humans. Material and Methods: Common carotid arteries were obtained from 17 human cadavers which were grouped as G1 (n = 6), 30–39 years; G2 (n = 5), 40–49 years; and G3 (n = 6), >50 years of age. Samples were evaluated under light and scanning electron microscopes. Results: Examination of G1 revealed intimal thickening and foamy cell infiltration. G2 and G3 had plaques bulging into the lumen and interlamellar space was widened. The lamellae were more straight. There was a positive correlation between intimal thickness and age. Elastic fiber content decreased with aging. Scanning electron microscopic analysis confirmed the findings. G1 and G2 had a smooth surfaced internal elastic lamina with uniform fenestrations whereas G3 contained numerous irregular fenestrae. Discussion and Conclusion: With this study, we showed some other wall structure changes beside plaque formation by aging. Which layer is affected the most was not clear at previous clinical studies because using ultrasonography (USG) cannot address the layer. Microscopic evaluation of this study revealed that when a wall thickening is detected by USG, it is due to intimal thickening. The specific vessel layer structural changes are important for proper treatment.

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