Implications of pulsatile stretch on growth of saphenous vein and mammary artery smooth muscle

Lancet. 1992 Oct 10;340(8824):878-9. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(92)93287-w.


Internal mammary artery (IMA) coronary bypass grafts have a higher patency than saphenous vein (SV) grafts. Intimal hyperplasia and occlusion of venous grafts result from smooth muscle proliferation. Mechanical factors, such as pulsatile stretch, are potential mediators of this process. Smooth muscle cells from IMA and SV were cultured on deformable membranes and exposed to pulsatile stretch (60 cycles/min). This stimulus increased 3H-thymidine incorporation into venous (a two-fold increase) but not arterial smooth muscle cells after 24 h. Smooth muscle cell numbers from SV, but not IMA, were increased (p less than 0.05) after 6 days of stretch. Thus, pulsatile stretch stimulates smooth muscle cell proliferation in SV, but not IMA, and may contribute to venous bypass graft disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Replication / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mammary Arteries / cytology
  • Mammary Arteries / physiology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology*
  • Reflex, Stretch / physiology*
  • Saphenous Vein / cytology
  • Saphenous Vein / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical