The association of medial collagenous tissue with atheroma formation in the aging human aorta as revealed by a special technique

Histol Histopathol. 1986 Oct;1(4):323-6.


A new technique which brilliantly colors collagen fibers in a field of polarized light reveals that during mid-life the smooth muscle cells in the tunica media of the human aorta begin to disappear. The connective tissue is divided between two regions; one below the subintimal layer and the other under the adventitia. Fine collagen fibers extend upward from the former into the subintima and beyond into the intima and the overlying atheromatous plaques of the aging aorta. Thus, the source of fibrous thickening of the vessel is not confined solely to the intimal layer; at least, a portion of the total collagen content arises deep within the aortic wall.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Aorta, Abdominal / pathology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology*
  • Azo Compounds
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Polarization
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology


  • Azo Compounds
  • C.I. direct red 80
  • Collagen