Gender-related differences in the tensile strength of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
A recent study investigated the association of gender with the growth rate of AAAs and found a significant increase in the growth rate of AAAs in women than in men. On the basis of these observations, we hypothesize that there are gender-associated differences in AAA wall integrity and mechanical strength. The purpose of this study was to explore this hypothesis by comparing the tensile strength of freshly resected AAA tissue specimens between women and men. Seventy-six rectangular specimens (20 mm long x 5 mm wide) from 34 patients (24 male, 10 female) were excised from the anterior wall of patients undergoing open repair of their abdominal aortic aneurysm and tested in a uniaxial tensile tester. Ultimate tensile strength (UTS) was taken as the peak stress obtained before specimen failure. While there were no statistical differences in strength between specimens taken from male and female patients, there was a trend toward a decrease in strength in females as compared to males (87.6 +/- 6.7 N/cm(2) vs. 67.6 +/- 8.1 N/cm(2), p = 0.09). To the authors knowledge this work represents the first report of differences in biomechanical properties as a function of gender. The nearly significant decrease in UTS in women versus men reported here may be important in assessing the risk of rupture in AAA. Further testing is warranted to confirm the current trends.
Vande Geest, JP; Dillavou, ED; Di Martino, ES; Oberdier, M; Bohra, A; Makaroun, MS; Vorp, DA
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