Gender-related differences in the tensile strength of abdominal aortic aneurysm

Jonathan P. Vande Geest, Ellen D. Dillavou, Elena S. Di Martino, Matt Oberdier, Ajay Bohra, Michel S. Makaroun, David A. Vorp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

47 Scopus citations


A recent study investigated the association of gender with the growth rate of AAAs and found a significant increase in the growth rate of AAAs in women than in men. On the basis of these observations, we hypothesize that there are gender-associated differences in AAA wall integrity and mechanical strength. The purpose of this study was to explore this hypothesis by comparing the tensile strength of freshly resected AAA tissue specimens between women and men. Seventy-six rectangular specimens (20 mm long x 5 mm wide) from 34 patients (24 male, 10 female) were excised from the anterior wall of patients undergoing open repair of their abdominal aortic aneurysm and tested in a uniaxial tensile tester. Ultimate tensile strength (UTS) was taken as the peak stress obtained before specimen failure. While there were no statistical differences in strength between specimens taken from male and female patients, there was a trend toward a decrease in strength in females as compared to males (87.6 ± 6.7 N/cm2 vs. 67.6 ± 8.1 N/cm2, p = 0.09). To the authors knowledge this work represents the first report of differences in biomechanical properties as a function of gender. The nearly significant decrease in UTS in women versus men reported here may be important in assessing the risk of rupture in AAA. Further testing is warranted to confirm the current trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics, Pathophysiology, and Molecular Biology
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)1573316571, 9781573316576
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Aneurysm
  • Strength, rupture potential
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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