Quantitation of Cells and Fibers in Histologic Sections of Arterial Walls: Advantages of Contour Tracing on a Digitizing Plate

  • Seymour Glagov
  • Joseph Grande
  • Draga Vesselinovitch
  • Christopher K. Zarins


A major objective of the study of histologic sections is the elucidation of the relation of structure to function under normal and abnormal conditions. Utilizing appropriate staining procedures for identification of specific components, comparisons of sections taken in orthogonal planes and reconstructions from serial sections have provided insights into details of microarchitecture (Bernimoulin and Schroeder 1977; Elias and Henning 1967; Takahashi and Suwa 1978; Underwood 1970). Morphometric techniques may also be applied to individual histologic sections in order to derive quantitative estimates of tissue composition and to establish the shape, dimensions, and orientation of cell and tissue components. Extrapolations of volume and surface features of these components from measurements on cross-sectional profiles are based on a series of geometric considerations and measurement procedures that comprise the analytical method known as stereology.


Histologic Section Section Thickness Point Counting Contour Method Rabbit Aorta 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ballentine R (1957) Determination of total nitrogen and ammonia.Methods Enzymol3: 984–995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernimoulin JP, Schroeder HE (1977) Quantitative electron microscopic analysis of the epithelium of normal human alveolar mucosa. Cell Tiss Res 180: 383–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burton K (1956) A study of the conditions and mechanisms of the diphenylamine reaction for the colorimetric estimation of deoxyribonucleic acid. Biochem J 62: 315–323PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark JM, Glagov S (1979) Structural integration of the arterial wall: I. Relationships and attachments of medial smooth muscle cells in normally distended and hyperdistended aortas. Laboratory Investigation 40: 587–602PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cleary EG (1963) A correlative and comparative study of the nonuniform arterial wall. PhD dissertation, University of SydneyGoogle Scholar
  6. Elias H, Henning A (1967) Elias H (eds) Quantitative methods in morphology. Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Feldman SA. Glagov S (1971) Transmedial collagen and elastin gradients in human aortas: reversal with age. Atherosclerosis13: 385–394PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fischer GM. Llaurado JG (1966) Collagen and elastin content in canine arteries from functionally different vascular beds. Circ Res 19: 394–399PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gomori G (1950) Aldehyde fuchsin: A new stain for elastic tissue. Am J Clin Path 20: 665–669PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Henning A (1958) A critical survey of volume and surface measurement in microscopy. Zeiss Werkzeitschrift 30: 78Google Scholar
  11. Lansing AI, Rosenthal TB, Dempsey EW (1952) The structure and chemical characterization of elastic fibers as revealed by elastase and electron microscopy. Anat Rec 114: 555–575PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Leung YM, Glagov S, Mathews MB (1977) Elastin and collagen accumulation in rabbit ascending aorta and pulmonary trunk during postnatal growth. Circ Res 41: 316–323Google Scholar
  13. Martin CJ Axelrod AE 1953 A modified method for determination of hydroxyproline. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 83: 461–46Google Scholar
  14. McCloskey IM, Cleary EG (1974) Chemical composition of rabbit aorta during development. Circ Res 34: 828–835PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Newman RE, Logan MA (1956) Determination of hydroxyproline.J Biol Chern 184: 299–305Google Scholar
  16. Richards GM (1974) Modifications of the diphenylamine reaction giving increased sensitivity and simplicity in the estimation of DNA. Anal Biochem 57: 369–376PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sweat F, Puchtler H, Rosenthal SI (1964) [atSirius red F3BA as a stain for connective tissue. Arch Path 78: 69–72PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Takahashi T, SuwaN (1978) Stereological and topological analysis of cirrhotic livers as a linkage of regenerative nodules multiply connected in the form of a 3-dimensional network. In: Miles E, Bue J (eds) Buffon bicentenary symposium on geometrical probability image analysis, mathematical stereology, and their relevance to the determination of biological structures. Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Underwood EE (1970) Quantitative stereology. Addison-Wesley Publishing CoGoogle Scholar
  20. Weibel ER (1969]) Stereological principles for morphometry in electron microscopic cytology. Int Rev Cyt 235–Google Scholar
  21. Weibel ER, Bolender RP (1973) Stereological techniques for electron microscopic morphometry. In: Hayat MA (ed) Principles and techniques of electron microscopic morphometry. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, Vol. 3, pp. 237–296Google Scholar
  22. Weibel ER, Elias H (eds) (1967) Quantitative methods in morphology. Proceedings of the symposium of quantitative methods in morphology. Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Wissler RW, Vesselinovitch D, Schaffner TJ, Glagov S (1980) Quantitating rhesus monkey atherosclerosis progression and regression with time. In: Gotto AM, Smith LC, Allen B (eds) Atherosclerosis V, Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium, Springer-Verlag, New YGoogle Scholar
  24. Wolinsky H, Daly MM (1970) A method for the isolation of intimamedia samples from arteries. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 135: 364–368PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Wolinsky H, Glagov S (1964) Structural basis for the static mechanical properties of the aortic media. Circ Res 14: 400–413PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Wolinsky H, Glagov S (1967a) A lamellar unit of aortic medial structure and function in mammals. Circ Res 20: 99–111Google Scholar
  27. Wolinsky H, Glagov S (1967b) Nature of species differences in the medial distribution of aortic vasa vasorum in mammals. Cire Res 20: 409–421Google Scholar
  28. Wolinsky H, Glagov S (1969) Comparison of abdominal and thoracic aortic medial structure in mammals: Deviaton from the usual pattern in man. Circ Res 25: 677–686PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour Glagov
  • Joseph Grande
  • Draga Vesselinovitch
  • Christopher K. Zarins

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations