Elastic skeleton of intracranial cerebral aneurysms in rats.
In an attempt to clarify the developmental mechanism of cerebral aneurysms, we studied the elastic skeleton of experimentally induced cerebral aneurysms in rats under scanning electron microscopy after hot formic acid extraction followed by freeze-drying. We produced cerebral aneurysms in 19 rats by unilaterally ligating the common carotid artery, inducing renal hypertension, and feeding beta-aminopropionitrile fumarate. The first noted change was the loss of folds protruding from the internal elastic lamina. Morphologic changes of the internal elastic lamina, considered to be primarily responsible for aneurysmal formation, occurred after the loss or disintegration of the elastic skeleton of first the intima, then the media. In large aneurysms with thick domes, we found proliferation of elastic lamellae that may reduce the risk of rupture. It seems probable that the complex elastic skeleton of the arterial wall may account for the mechanical properties of the artery and that growth of an aneurysm occurs due to disintegration of the elastic skeleton and not simply to rupture of the internal elastic lamina. We believe that such changes in the elastic skeleton are a property of the functional state of the cells that produce elastin.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association