Microscopic Analysis of the Myocardial Bridges and their Relationship with Atheromatous Plaque

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Fabián A. Gómez; Pedro L. Forero,† & Luis E. Ballesteros


Most histopathological studies have reported that the segment of the coronary artery below the myocardial bridge does not present atheromatous plaque, while the segment proximal to the myocardial bridge may have it. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microscopic environment of myocardial bridges. This descriptive study was carried out with 60 hearts of individuals who underwent autopsy at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Bucaramanga-Colombia. For each specimen, the coronary arteries and their branches were dissected, removing the subepicardial adipose tissue to identify the myocardial bridges and obtain histological sections of the compromised arterial branches. The presence of myocardial bridges was observed in 22 hearts (36.7 %) with a length of 17.31 + 4.41 mm and a thickness of 904.57 + 312.27 mm. The coronary vessel caliber at the prepontine level was 246.57 + 49.33 mm and was significantly higher than in the pontine (188.92 + 60.55 mm) and postpontin (190.40 + 47 mm) segments (p=0.001 for both values). Atheromatous plaque was observed in the prepontine segment in 12 cases (46.15 %) and in 8 samples (30.76 %) at the pontine level, but in this segment, there was slight damage to the vascular endothelium, or phase I level. The thickness of the tunica intima in the cases with atheromatous plaque was 15.68 + 13.39 mm and that of the plaque-free segments was 5.10 + 4.40 mm (p=0.005), and in the pontine segment the overlying periarterial adipose tissue had a thickness of 72.01 + 69.44 mm, which was higher than the other three locations (p=0.005). The morphometry of the perivascular fat pad and the presence of phase I atheromatous plaque are the main contributions of this study to the histology of myocardial bridges.

KEY WORDS: perivascular adipose tissue,tunica intima, myocardial bridge, atheromatous plaque, endothelium.

How to cite this article

GÓMEZ, F. A.; FORERO, P. L. & BALLESTEROS, L. E. Microscopic analysis of the myocardial bridges and their relationship with atheromatous plaque. Int. J. Morphol., 39(1):70-76, 2021.