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Posterior aortas taken from broad breasted white turkey poults were examined histologically in order to better define the early events which precede and accompany intimal plaque formation in this species. As early as 3 weeks after hatching, disproportionate thickenings appeared in the ventral portion of the outer aortic wall (outer media and adventitia). These thickenings were associated with a relative increase in non-elastic elements, especially collagen, and were found in over half the birds examined. Since the earliest recognizable intimal plaques made their appearance subsequent to and on the same side (ventral) of the aorta as the foregoing medial and adventitial features, there may be a causal relationship. The authors believe that these composite phenomena, perhaps initially adaptive and developmental in nature, may progress to a point where they weaken the wall to the extent that, by acting in conjunction with hypertension, aortic rupture can occur.
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Received: September 2, 1971
☆This investigation was supported by Research Grant HE-04177 from the National Heart Institute, U.S. Public Health Service.
© 1972 Published by Elsevier Inc.