Thoracic Aortic Stiffening Elicited by Prolonged Propranolol Treatment in an Animal Model

K.M. Lampropoulos and D.P. Sokolis (Greece)


Biomechanics; b-blockers; elastic properties; rupture; aorticwall; mathematical model.


This study assessed the long-term effect of propranolol administration on the elastic and failure properties of the thoracic aorta. Control rats (n=5) received only water with their food, whereas beta-blockade was produced in another 5 rats by administering 100 mg/kg/day propranolol in their drinking water. The animals were sacrificed after 3 months and the descending thoracic aorta was resected, cut into specimens with circumferential (CIRC) and longitudinal (LONG) orientation, and submitted to evaluation of elastic and failure properties. Our observations indicated a stiffer and stronger thoracic aorta in propranolol-treated rats, mostly in the LONG direction, at physiologic and high stresses. Thoracic aortic stiffening, elicited by prolonged b blocker treatment, warrants further clinical investigation.

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