Acoustic properties of aortic aneurysm obtained with scanning acoustic microscopy

Yoshifumi Saijo, Toshifumi Miyakawa, Hidehiko Sasaki, Motonao Tanaka, Shin Ichi Nitta

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In aortic aneurysm tissues, macrophages and their secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are playing important role for tissue degeneration. Some studies have shown that weakening of the mechanical properties of the degenerated tissues may progress the expansion of the aneurysm. However, actual measurement of the mechanical properties has not been investigated at microscopic level. The objective of the present study is to assess the mechanical properties of aortic aneurysm tissues by measuring acoustic properties by scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM). Twenty-one cases of aortic aneurysm including renal and common iliac aneurysm tissues were surgically excised. Each tissue was fixed by 4% formaldehyde and the specimens were treated as (1) picrosirius red staining for normal and polarized light microscopy, (2) CD68 staining for macrophage detection, and (3) no staining for acoustic microscopy. A specially developed SAM system operating in the frequency range of 100-200 MHz, was employed in the measurement. Images of amplitude and phase are obtained in a field of 2×2 mm. The intima was mainly consisted of degenerated collagen without polarization of picrosirius red staining. Macrophages stained by CD68 were observed near the degenerated collagen fibers. The sound speed was 1567 m/s in the intima, 1576 m/s in the media, 1640 m/s in the adventitia, respectively. Infiltration of macrophages showed higher values of attenuation and sound speed than the surrounding tissues. The sound speed of the intima was significantly lower than our previous measurement of atherosclerotic aorta without aneurismal change. As the tissue elasticity is closely correlated with the sound speed, the elasticity of the intima was considered to be lower in aneurysm tissues. This mechanical weakness may contribute to the expansion of the diameter of the aneurysm. Acoustic microscopy provided important data for assessing tissue mechanical properties of abdominal aneurysm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-698
Number of pages4
Issue number1-9
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr
EventProceedings of Ultrasonics International 2003 - Granada, Spain
Duration: 2003 Jun 302003 Jul 3


  • Acoustic microscopy
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Collagen
  • Macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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