Background: Coronary arteries exhibit significantly higher adventitial Vasa vasorum (VV) densities which may partly explain their higher atherosclerosis susceptibility. A variability in the atherosclerosis predispositions exists between individual coronary artery branches but few studies exist that compare their VV densities. This study aims to assess for VV density differences between individual coronary artery branches and also compare them with other similar sized peripheral arteries. Methods: Cadaveric arterial specimens, 15 each, from right coronary [RCA], left anterior descending [LAD], left circumflex [LCX] radial [RA] and fibular arteries [FA] were collected, processed and stained. Images were taken using digital Motic camera enabled microscope and Motic Image plus 2.0 ML software. VV were visually identified and counted. Open source software Image J was used to measure the adventitial surface area. VV number per unit area was expressed as density. Results: Mean adventitial VV density (*10−5/μm2) was significantly higher in the RCA (2.14 SD 0.92) compared to the LAD (1.2 SD 0.72) RA (1.23 SD 0.41) and FA (0.77 SD 0.84). VV density in LAD was comparable to LCX (1.88 SD 0.83), RA and FA Conclusion: LAD showed the least VV density among coronary arteries, even though most studies show this artery to have the highest atherosclerosis incidence. Interactions between high and low VV density areas within an artery rather than net VV density may be a more significant determining factor for atherosclerosis predisposition. Structural and molecular characteristics of the vessel wall, as well as that of VV, may also be contributing factors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)