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      Architectonic Arrangement of the Vasa Vasorum of the Human Great Saphenous Vein


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          Objective: The detailed spatial arrangement of the vasa vasorum (VV) of the human great saphenous vein (HGSV) was demonstrated in qualitative and quantitative terms. Materials and Methods: Segments of the HGSV taken from cadavers 12–24 h post mortem and from patients undergoing aortocoronary bypassing were studied by light microscopy of India-ink-injected specimens and by scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts. Results: Arterial feeders were found to approach the HGSV from nearby arteries every 15 mm forming a rich capillary network within the adventitia and the outer two thirds of the media in normal HGSV, while in HGSV with intimal hyperplasia capillary meshes extended into the inner layers of the media. Within the media, capillary meshes ran circularly. Postcapillary venules drained centrifugally towards the adventitial venous vessels which finally formed venous drainers running adjacent to the arterial feeders. Three-dimensional morphometry of vascular corrosion casts of VV revealed that diameters of (i) arterial VV ranged from 11.6 to 36.6 µm, (ii) capillary VV from 4.7 to 11.6 µm and (iii) venous VV ranged from 11.6 to 200.3 µm. Conclusions: The 3D network of VV suggests these layers are metabolically highly active and therefore require a continuous blood supply. We conclude, therefore, that the VV network must be preserved during in situ bypassing.

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          Intimal neovascularization in human coronary atherosclerosis: its origin and pathophysiological significance.

          To investigate the histopathological characteristics of the newly formed vessels in the atherosclerotic intima of human coronary arteries, we conducted postmortem angiography in 31 cases, including 11 with myocardial infarction. Vessels were examined three-dimensionally under the stereoscope. In addition, we evaluated 25 anterior descending coronary arteries unrelated to the occurrence of myocardial infarction by light microscopy using 3-mm stepwise sections and 5-microns serial sections. Histological alterations were analyzed morphometrically to determine the correlation between the degree of intimal neovascularization and the growth of the endothelium into the atherosclerotic intima from the adventitia or lumen. There was a significant positive correlation between the density of new vessels in the intima and the incidence of luminal stenosis, the extent of chronic inflammatory infiltrate, the formation of granulation tissue, or the atheromatous changes, whereas the vascular density decreased in the extensively hyalinized and calcified intima. The newly formed intimal vessels originated mainly from the adventitial vasa vasorum and also partly from the proper coronary lumen. The intimal vessels that originated from the adventitia occurred approximately 28 times more frequently than those that originated from the luminal side. The frequency of former vessels increased as the luminal stenosis became more severe, whereas the latter vessels were found most frequently in the presence of 40% and 50% stenosis. Vessels originating from the proper lumen were more often associated with fresh or old hemorrhage. We conclude that intimal neovascularization largely originates from the adventitia and is closely associated with the extent of coronary stenosis and the histological inflammatory reaction.
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            Functional anatomy and hemodynamic characteristics of vasa vasorum in the walls of porcine coronary arteries.

            In this study vasa vasorum in the walls of porcine coronary arteries were examined, using three-dimensional (3D) micro-CT scanning techniques. These techniques leave the 3D structure of the vasa vasorum tree intact and thus provide a much more direct view of this structure than is possible from conventional histological sections. The study demonstrates-for the first time, we believe-both the different types and the fine architecture of these vasa vasorum. Furthermore, with the use of automated tree analysis software, it was possible to obtain quantitative geometrical data on the 3D structure of vasa vasorum trees that have not previously been available. The results indicate that despite the restrictive topology of the space in which they are present, the branching architecture of the vasa vasorum trees, which we surveyed, is surprisingly similar to that of vasculature in general. The volume of vessel wall tissue perfused or drained by a vasa vasorum tree was found to correlate well with the cross-sectional area of the root segment of the vasa vasorum tree, and the luminal surface area corresponding to this volume was found to be comparable with the surface area of an early atherosclerotic lesion. This is consistent with earlier findings that the ligation or removal of vasa vasorum leads to atherogenesis.
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              "No-touch" technique using saphenous vein harvested with its surrounding tissue for coronary artery bypass grafting maintains an intact endothelium.

              Spasm and consequent dilation of the saphenous vein (SV) for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) can be avoided if the vein is harvested with its surrounding tissue. Morphologic techniques, including scanning and transmission electron microscopy, were used to compare endothelial cell integrity using three SV harvesting procedures: conventional (adventitial stripping of the vein, manual distention and storing in saline); intermediate (after adventitial stripping, the vein was left in situ, covered with a papaverine-soaked compress, and stored in heparinized blood); and "no-touch" (SV dissected with its surrounding tissue was left in situ, covered with a saline-soaked compress and stored in heparinized blood). Preservation of endothelial cell integrity was greater with the "no-touch" procedure than with the other methods. Since endothelial cell integrity of SV grafts may affect the patency rate, we conclude that the "no-touch" preparation should improve the results of CABG.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                February 2007
                29 January 2007
                : 44
                : 2
                : 157-166
                Departments of aAnatomy and bPathology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, and cDepartment of Cardiovascular Surgery, Regional Hospital, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic; dDepartment of Organismic Biology, Division of Zoology and Functional Anatomy, Vessel and Muscle Research Unit, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
                99142 J Vasc Res 2007;44:157–166
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                : 04 April 2006
                : 19 November 2006
                Page count
                Figures: 9, References: 38, Pages: 10
                Research Paper

                General medicine,Neurology,Cardiovascular Medicine,Internal medicine,Nephrology
                Saphenous vein,Architecture,Histology,Vasa vasorum,Human great saphenous vein,Morphology


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