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eISSN: 1643-3750

Comparative morphology of the hepatic and coronary artery walls. Part I. Differences in the distribution and intensity of non-atherosclerotic intimal thickening and atherosclerosis

Stefan Kruś, Mohammed Wael Turjman, Elżbieta Fiejka

Med Sci Monit 2000; 6(1): BR19-23

ID: 509275

Available online:


We compared the morphology of the hepatic artery intima which is free of atherosclerosis, with that of the typically atherosclerosis-prone coronary artery. The study group comprised material collected from 116 autopsies. Subjects were aged between 1 month and 90 years. Specimens were collected from grossly normal arterial segments. An already known fact was confirmed: the presence and remarkable intensity of non-atherosclerotic intimal thickening in the coronary arteries since the beginning of life. On the contrary, hepatic artery intimal thickening was incidental during the first 4 decades of life and regular later on. During all the decades intimal thickness was decreased in the hepatic artery in comparison to the coronary artery. Initial atherosclerosis was noted during the 4th decade of life in the coronary artery and during the 8th and 9th decades in the hepatic artery. Intimal thickness was always lower in women compared to men. These findings reveal a positive correlation between the intensity of intimal hyperplasia and the incidence of atherosclerosis. The intimal pattern is of limited value in the determination of an unidentified subject age who underwent an autopsy. The thickness of the hepatic artery intima, which surpasses 200 µm indicates that the subject is at least 40 years of age, while initial atherosclerosis - the 8th or 9th decades of life.

Keywords: atherosclerosis, Estrogens, non-atherosclerotic intimal thickening, Coronary artery, Hepatic Artery