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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 456741, 5 pages
Research Article

Features of Atherosclerosis in the Tunica Adventitia of Coronary and Carotid Arteries in a Black Kenyan Population

Department of Human Anatomy, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

Received 14 October 2013; Revised 27 January 2014; Accepted 14 February 2014; Published 17 March 2014

Academic Editor: Ayhan Comert

Copyright © 2014 Julius Ogeng’o et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Histologic changes which occur in the tunica adventitia during initiation, progression, and complications of atherosclerosis are seldom reported. This study aimed at describing the features of atherosclerosis in the tunica adventitia of two of the commonly afflicted arteries, namely, left anterior descending coronary and common carotid in black Kenyans. Materials and Methods. Specimens from 108 individuals [76 males and 32 females, mean age 34.6] were processed for paraffin embedding. Seven micron thick sections were stained with Mason’s trichrome and Haematoxylin/Eosin and examined with a light microscope. Results. Features of atherosclerosis were present in the tunica adventitia of 14.8% of left anterior descending arteries and 11.1% of common carotid arteries. Increase in adventitial thickness was associated with increased density of vasa vasora in 8.3% of both arteries. In the left anterior descending and common carotid arteries, 6.5% and 3.7% of cases, respectively, the tunica adventitia thickened without intimal hyperplasia. Conclusion. Features of atherosclerosis occur in the tunica adventitia of coronary and carotid arteries in over 10% of the black Kenyans studied. These features often precede the intimo medial changes. Tunica adventitia should therefore be prioritized in evaluation for atherosclerosis, in individuals at risk. This may enhance early detection and intervention.