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Extensibility changes of calcified soft tissue strips from human aorta

Canadian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology 65(9): 1878-1883
Extensibility changes of calcified soft tissue strips from human aorta
Some degree of calcification was noted in more than half of the 59 aortas of individuals aged from 15 to 88 we have examined at autopsy. The calcification, which is determined by x-raying the opened and flat aorta, is in patches. We have studied the influence of calcification on stress versus strain, breaking strength, and modulus of elasticity of strips of aorta to determine its importance in vascular disease. Strips of aortic wall 5 .times. 30 mm were cut with orientation parallel or perpendicular to the vessel axis. Elongation versus load was measured with an Instron tensile testing machine. The true stress and true strain were calculated for both calcified and uncalcified strips from the thoracic and abdominal regions in both orientations. From the stress-strain curve the following values were selected: strain, stress, and slope at 80 mmHg equivalent pressure (1 mmHg = 133.3 Pa); maximum stress, strain, and slope; and breaking stress, strain, and slope if the sample broke. There were statistically significant differences in 13 of the 36 categories between calcified and uncalcified strips. The breaking strength and strain is lower in the calcified strips. The stress-strain curve for the uncalcified strip was mathematically transformed by reducing the amount of elongation so that the curve coincided with that of the calcified strip for eight matched pairs from the same individuals. The calcification appears to immobilize part of the strip, probably causing the boundary of the calcified tissue to be a region of high stress where tissue breakdown can occur.

Accession: 005432768

PMID: 3690406

DOI: 10.1139/y87-291

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