In patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum a thicker and more elastic carotid artery is associated with elastin fragmentation and proteoglycans accumulation

Lilian Kornet, Arthur A. B. Bergen, Arnold P. G. Hoeks, Jacques P. Cleutjens, Roelof-Jan Oostra, Mat J. Daemen, Simone van Soest, Robert S. Reneman

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Skin biopsies in patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) show elastic fiber fragmentation and calcium and proteoglycans accumulation. Assuming such changes to be present in the artery wall as well, we studied the influence of such alterations on function and structure of the human common carotid artery (CCA). Indeed, elastin fragmentation and increased calcium and proteoglycans content were present in the arteries of the two PXE patients examined. Internal diameter, distension and intima-media thickness (IMT) in the CCA of PXE patients (n = 19) and controls (n = 39) were determined by ultrasound (US). Pulse pressure was assessed in the brachial artery. The distensibility and compliance coefficients as well as the Young's modulus were calculated. Diameter and pulse pressure were not significantly different in PXE patients and controls. The distensibility and compliance coefficients were significantly greater in older PXE patients than in older controls. The distensibility coefficient decreased with age in both PXE patients and in controls. Unlike in controls, the compliance coefficient did not decrease and the Young's modulus barely increased with age in PXE patients. IMT was significantly greater at both younger and older ages and the Young's modulus was significantly smaller at older ages in PXE patients than in controls. The carotid artery is thicker and more elastic in PXE patients than in control subjects; differences are most pronounced at older ages. These alterations might be explained by the elastin fragmentation and proteoglycans accumulation as observed in these patients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
JournalUltrasound in Medicine & Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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