Scanning electron microscopy of aortic medial changes in aortic ascending dilatation

Franca Ferraraccio, Salvatore Esposito, Pasquale Sauté, Flavio Cerasuolo, Manuela Agozzino, Marina Agozzino, Maurizio Cotrufo, Lucio Agozzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The study of cystic cavities and collagen fibers fragmentation is useful to for a better knowledge of pathogenesis and surgical therapy of medial ascending aortic degeneration. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe by scanning electron microscopy the surfaces and shape of the cysts, measure their area, and identify microcystic spaces related to this degenerative disease. Scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed in 16 out of 36 patients who underwent surgery for ascending aorta dilatation with associated aortic valve disease. The aortic medial wall showed a cribrose appearance at low magnification (x50-100) and the intima was effuse. At high magnification (x500-2000), small cavities (clefts) lined by normal or fragmented elastic fibers and large cavities (pseudocystes) with anfractuous borders lined by fragmented elastic fibers and smooth muscle cells were observed. Furthermore, in the outer media wall microvessels lined by endothelium were also observed. These changes were lacking or less pronounced in normal aorta. SEM allows one to better identify the pathological cavities and to differentiate them from microvessels. These pathological cavities are more numerous and larger in the convexity than in the concavity of the aorta in according to our previous morphological and morphometric findings in asymmetrical aorta dilatation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Aneurysm
  • Aortic root
  • Aortic valve
  • Aortic valve surgery
  • Electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Instrumentation
  • Structural Biology

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  • Cite this

    Ferraraccio, F., Esposito, S., Sauté, P., Cerasuolo, F., Agozzino, M., Agozzino, M., Cotrufo, M., & Agozzino, L. (2004). Scanning electron microscopy of aortic medial changes in aortic ascending dilatation. Ultrastructural Pathology, 28(3), 137-140.