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Exp Mol Pathol. 1984 Jun;40(3):328-39.

Herpesviridae in the endothelial and smooth muscle cells of the proximal aorta in arteriosclerotic patients.


Punch-biopsy specimens were obtained from uninvolved areas of the proximal aorta of each of 60 patients with atherosclerosis undergoing cardiovascular surgery. Electron microscopic study of the smooth muscle and endothelial cells of the aortas showed cellular hyperplasia, nuclear and nucleolar atypia. Virions of the Herpesviridae family were observed in ten of the patients. They were detected in occasional smooth muscle and rare endothelial cells. Specimens were taken from three separate sites of each aorta and distributed into five blocks for each patient. In only a single block from each of the ten positive patients could virus be identified. Nine of the ten virus-positive patients also exhibited intracytoplasmic microtubular inclusions. In four patients only the microtubular inclusions were seen. Microcapillaries were observed in the midportion of the media, which we consider to be an attempt of a repair process.

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