On computed tomography (CT) imaging, a peri-vascular adipose tissue attenuation (pVAT) measure has been proposed as a non-invasive correlate of inflammation in the coronary artery vessels, and a single research group provided histopathological demonstration of this radiologi-cal/pathological correspondence. Our group has shown that patients with surgical-grade ascending aorta (AA) aneurysm display higher pVAT compared with patients with smaller aneurysms or normal AA. Based on histopathological studies on coronary arteries, we speculated that this correlation may be related to a non-otherwise specified aortic inflammatory process. However, since adipose tissue around the AA is often scant, and there are no histopathological studies confirming such hypothesized association between higher pVAT and inflammation around the AA, we cannot exclude that this pVAT change is secondary to different mechanisms, unrelated to the actual presence of peri-vascular inflammation. We performed a retrospective clinical/radiological/pathological study in 78 patients who underwent AA surgery with the aim to correlate pre-operatory pVAT on CT with histopathological findings from the surgical specimens. Histopathological review and immunohisto-chemistry were performed on the surgical aortic samples. The AA adventitial/periadventitial adipose tissue had higher pVAT by an increasing collagen fiber deposition, which progressively makes the fat hypotrophic and, in the late stages of this process, it replaces the normal soft tissue composition in this location. In the ascending aorta, pVAT on CT imaging is probably not a proxy for the presence of current vascular inflammation, although it may track changes involving the progressive substitution of perivascular adipose cells by higher-pVAT tissues, mainly fibrotic replacement.
The histopathological correlate of peri-vascular adipose tissue attenuation on computed tomography in surgical ascending aorta aneurysms: Is this a measure of tissue inflammation? / Gaibazzi, N.; Tuttolomondo, D.; Nicolini, F.; Tafuni, A.; Sartorio, D.; Martini, C.; Maestri, F.; Gallingani, A.; De Filippo, M.; Corradi, D.. - In: DIAGNOSTICS. - ISSN 2075-4418. - 11:10(2021), p. 1799.1799. [10.3390/diagnostics11101799]
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