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    Effect of diabetes mellitus (DM) on the dissection properties of thoracic aortas remains largely unclear and relevant biomechanical analysis is lacking. In the present study forty adult rabbits (1.6-2.2 kg) were collected and type 1 diabetic rabbit model was induced by injection of alloxan. A total of 10 control and 30 diabetic (with different time exposure to diabetic condition) rabbit descending thoracic aortas were harvested. Peeling tests were performed to quantitatively determine force/width values and dissection energy in the control and diabetic aortas. Histological and mass fraction analyses were performed to characterize the dissected morphology and to quantify dry weight percentages of elastin and collagen. The resisting force/width values were significantly higher for the diabetic thoracic aortas (in 8 weeks) than those of the control thoracic aortas (axial: 26.1 ± 4.0 vs. 20.5 ± 3.1 mN/mm, p = 0.04; circ: 19.7 ± 2.8 vs. 15.3 ± 1.9 mN/mm, p = 0.03). There was a higher resistance to the dissection in both axial and circumferential directions for the diabetic aortas. The dissection energy generated by axial and circumferential peeling of the diabetic aortas (in 6 and 8 weeks) was statistically significantly higher than that of the control aortas (axial: 5.6 ± 0.7 vs. 4.3 ± 0.5 mJ/cm2, p = 0.02; circ: 3.9 ± 0.3 vs. 3.2 ± 0.3 mJ/cm2, p = 0.02). Histology showed that dissection mainly occurred in the aortic media and the dissected surfaces were close to external elastic lamina for some specimens. The mass fractions of collagen within the diabetic aortas increased significantly as compared to the control aortas, whereas no significant change was found for that of elastin. Our data suggest that the experimentally induced DM may lead to a lower propensity of dissection for the rabbit thoracic aortas. The dissection properties of the rabbit thoracic aortas vary with time exposed to diabetic condition. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Jianhua Tong, Yuan-Feng Xin, Xiaojuan Xu, Fan Yang, Zhi Zhang. Effect of diabetes mellitus on the dissection properties of the rabbit descending thoracic aortas. Journal of biomechanics. 2020 Feb 13;100:109592

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    PMID: 31911049

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