Bridging collaterals (BC) develop in several chronic total artery occlusion diseases, and can prevent extensive myocardial necrosis. Yet, their origin, growth process, and histo-morphology are still unclear. Since vasa vasorum (VV) may take part in collateralization, we hypothesized that VV are the basis for BCs. To comprehensively investigate this arteriogenesis process, we used high-resolution imaging, including corrosion casts, post-mortem angiography with stereoscopy, micro-CT, and immunohistology, in combination with a novel semi-acute vessel occlusion model. This porcine model was produced by implanting a copper stent minimally invasively into the left anterior descending coronary artery. To define the kinetics of arteriogenesis, pigs (n = 11) were assigned to one of the five euthanasia timepoints: day 0.5 (D0.5, n = 2), D3 (n = 2), D5 (n = 1), D7 (n = 3), or D12 (n = 3) after stent implantation. We found that (1) BCs originate from longitudinally running type 1 VV, mainly VV interna, partially also from VV externa; (2) the growth of VV to BC is rapid, occurring within 7 days; and (3) porcine BCs are likely functionally relevant, considering an observed 102% increase in the number of smooth muscle cell layers in their vascular wall. High-resolution imaging in a minimally invasive non-acute vessel occlusion model is an innovative technique that allowed us to provide direct evidence that porcine BCs develop from the VV. These data may be crucial for further studies on the treatment of angina pectoris and thromboangiitis obliterans through therapeutic stimulation of BC development.
- Bridging collaterals
- Multi-slice computed tomographic coronary angiography
- Vasa vasorum
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine