Association of Collagen, Elastin, Glycosaminoglycans, and Macrophages With Tissue Ultimate Material Strength and Stretch in Human Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms: A Uniaxial Tension Study.


Fiber structures and pathological features, e.g., inflammation and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) deposition, are the primary determinants of aortic mechanical properties which are associated with the development of an aneurysm. This study is designed to quantify the association of tissue ultimate strength and extensibility with the structural percentage of different components, in particular, GAG, and local fiber orientation. Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) tissues from eight patients were collected. Ninety-six tissue strips of thickened intima, media, and adventitia were prepared for uni-extension tests and histopathological examination. Area ratios of collagen, elastin, macrophage and GAG, and collagen fiber dispersion were quantified. Collagen, elastin, and GAG were layer-dependent and the inflammatory burden in all layers was low. The local GAG ratio was negatively associated with the collagen ratio (r2 = 0.173, p