Stenotic intimal thickening of the external iliac artery in competition cyclists

Hum Pathol. 1990 May;21(5):524-9. doi: 10.1016/0046-8177(90)90009-t.


Twenty-three cases of an arterial disease that affects competition cyclists are reported. Patients complained of intermittent acute claudication appearing on one lower limb only at the time of a maximal strain while cycling. Doppler hemodynamic investigation on an ergometric bicycle revealed a collapse of the ankle systolic pressure. Arteriography showed a sinuous lengthening and moderate stenosis of the external iliac artery. Pathologic examination of the artery disclosed a stenotic intimal thickening due to moderately cellular loose connective tissue with a variable distribution of collagen and elastic fibers. The cells in the affected zone were readily labeled with anti-actin and anti-myosin antibodies, and electron microscopy revealed features of synthetic smooth muscle cells. The lesion observed differs from intimal fibrodysplasia and from artherosclerosis. Abnormal local hemodynamic conditions may lead to this type of lesion. Thus, stenotic intimal thickening of the external iliac artery appears to be a new arterial disease defined by clinical, arteriographic, and pathologic features.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / etiology
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / pathology*
  • Bicycling*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iliac Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Iliac Artery / pathology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / ultrastructure
  • Radiography