Lipid deposits in ageing human arteries, tendons and fascia

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      Lipid deposits have been identified histologically in various tendons and fascia in ageing man; the tendons at the body surface contained more lipid deposits than did those in more protected sites. The earliest deposits were seen at the age of 15 years. Histochemical and chemical investigation showed that the predominant lipids were cholesterol esters. The fatty acid pattern in these esters strongly resembled that in the cholesterol esters from fatty and fibrofatty atherosclerotic lesions. Both patterns resembled that in plasma, except that linoleate was significantly lower. Histological assessment of the severity of lipid deposition in the Achilles' tendon showed no correlation with deposition in the aorta, but did correlate with the extent of lipid deposition in the coronary artery. The amount of Achilles' lipid did not, however, correlate with the occurrence of myocardial infarction. Avascularity, “wear-and-tear” and binding by acidic mucosubstances are briefly discussed in relation to lipoprotein-binding by connective-tissue.

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