Local elastic modulus of atherosclerotic lesions of rabbit thoracic aortas measured by pipette aspiration method

Takeo Matsumoto, Hironobu Abe, Toshiro Ohashi, Yoko Kato, Masaaki Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in mechanical properties of arteries during atherogenesis remain controversial. One of the reasons could be that they have been evaluated with parameters measured in a whole vessel, although the lesions are localized. The local elastic modulus of atherosclerotic lesions was measured by the pipette aspiration method in thoracic aortas of rabbits fed a cholesterol diet for 8, 16, 24 and 28 weeks. The global elastic modulus of the whole aorta was measured by the pressure-diameter test. The local modulus decreased from that of the normal tissue in 8 weeks and then increased during the cholesterol feeding period. The global modulus did not change until 24 weeks and increased by 28 weeks. Histological observation revealed that the initial soft lesion was mainly composed of foam cells, and the stiffening accompanied first the appearance of smooth muscle cells in the top layer of the hyperplastic intima and then calcification in its bottom layer. The global elastic modulus did not change until marked calcification occurred in the tissue. These results suggest that change in mechanical properties of atherosclerotic lesion is not simple and has a close correlation with its histology. Assessment of local mechanical properties is important for studying mechanical properties of atherosclerotic arteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-648
Number of pages14
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Nov 1


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Foam cell
  • Histology
  • Mechanical property
  • Smooth muscle cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Local elastic modulus of atherosclerotic lesions of rabbit thoracic aortas measured by pipette aspiration method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this