The aortic wall is perfused by the adventitial vasa vasorum (VV). Tissue hypoxia has previously been observed as a manifestation of enlarged abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). We sought to determine whether hypoperfusion of the adventitial VV could develop AAAs. We created a novel animal model of adventitial VV hypoperfusion with a combination of a polyurethane catheter insertion and a suture ligation of the infrarenal abdominal aorta in rats. VV hypoperfusion caused tissue hypoxia and developed infrarenal AAA, which had similar morphological and pathological characteristics to human AAA. In human AAA tissue, the adventitial VV were stenotic in both small AAAs (30-49 mm in diameter) and in large AAAs (> 50 mm in diameter), with the sac tissue in these AAAs being ischemic and hypoxic. These results indicate that hypoperfusion of adventitial VV has critical effects on the development of infrarenal AAA.
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