Vol 51, No 2 (2017)

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Age dependence of critical pressure in the segments and branches of the circle of Willis

Adam Piechna1, Leszek Lombarski23, Paweł Krajewski4, Bogdan Ciszek25, Krzysztof Cieslicki1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2017.01.003
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2017;51(2):146-148.


Spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage is one of the most dramatic neurological disasters. The source of haemorrhage is linked to the pathology of the arterial wall or is unknown. Because the risk of haemorrhagic stroke increases with age, we tried to investigate the relationship between age and rupture pressure of cerebral arteries. In the presented study, 51 segments of large cerebral arteries (at the level of the circle of Willis and its incoming and outgoing branches) were obtained from 33 cadaver brains aged 12–86 years. The segments were pressurized up to the rupture. The rupture pressure was noted. The highest observed pressure was 4.3atm in specimen aged 24 years. The lowest pressure 1.19atm was observed in specimen aged 80 years. The mean value of rupture pressure of all investigated segments was 2.28atm.

Statistical analysis showed a nonlinear exponential decrease of the rupture pressure of the large cerebral arteries with age. The main conclusion from our study is that drop of cerebral arteries strength is observed to the age of 40. Later this lowering is visible but not so evident.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska