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Equine arterial wall histology : topographical and age-related differences

Book Contribution - Book Abstract Conference Contribution

Arterial rupture is a well-recognized cause of sudden death in horses which mostly affects old horses. The underlying age-related vascular changes are still unclear. The purpose of this study was to analyse vessel wall architecture at seven arterial locations and to investigate the effect of aging on its histological composition. Samples of cranial and caudal common carotid artery, proximal and distal aorta, median artery, external iliac artery and femoral artery were collected from 14 old (≥15 years) and 6 young (3-6 years) Warmblood horses, euthanized for non-cardiovascular reasons. Histology was performed to measure the intima-media thickness (IMT). Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the area % of smooth muscle cells (SMC), elastin and collagen type I and III. There was a significant (p<0.001) effect of arterial location on area % of elastin and collagen type III (Fig. 1). The highest area % of elastin was found in the proximal aorta (34±8%) and the lowest in the median artery (8±5%). As for collagen type III, the highest area % was found in the femoral artery (28±15%) and the lowest in the proximal aorta (17±7%), median artery (17±7%) and cranial common carotid artery (18±4%). Irrespective of arterial location, old horses showed a significantly larger IMT and a significantly higher area % of SMC (p=0.01) compared to young horses. We conclude that significant differences in arterial wall composition exist between central and peripheral arteries. Irrespective of location, IMT and area % of SMC increased with age, indicating arterial wall remodelling in older horses.
Book: Proceedings of the 13th ECEIM Congress
Number of pages: 1
Publication year:2020