Histomorphological features of atherosclerosis in the left anterior descending coronary arteries among black Kenyans

  • Julius Ogeng’o
  • Beryl S. Ominde
  • Kevin W. Ongeti
  • Beda Olabu
  • Philip Maseghe
  • Judith Machira
  • Acleus Murunga
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, coronary, young, men, women, Kenya


The pattern of coronary artery atherosclerosis is valuable in informing mitigation strategies for coronary heart disease. Histomorphological data on this disease among Africans living in Sub Saharan Africa are, however, scarce. The left anterior descending is one of the most commonly afflicted arteries. This study, therefore, examined the left anterior descending artery of 213 black Kenyans [Mean age 36.8 years, range 5 – 82 years] who had died of non cardiovascular causes for features of atherosclerosis. The individuals were divided into male and female, then into 10-yr age groups. Specimens were obtained from the proximal segment of the artery during autopsy at the Department of Human Anatomy University of Nairobi, Kenya. They were processed routinely for paraffin embedding andsectioning. Five micron sections were stained with Haematoxylin/Eosin and Mason’s trichrome and examined with light microscope. Micrographs of representative features were taken using a high resolution digital camera. At least one feature of atherosclerosis was present in 54 (25.4%) of the individuals. The features observed included severe intimal hyperplasia (34; 63%), disintegration of the internal elastic lamina [30; 55.6%]; atherosclerotic plaque (20; 37%), adventitial thicknening (14; 26%) and mural neovascularization (10; 18.5%). The mean age of those with features of atherosclerosis was 38.4 years, range 6 – 62 years with 25 (46.3%) being aged 40 years and below. Of these, the male: female ratio was 1.7:1. In conclusion, features of atherosclerosis are present in over 25% of the population studied. The disease affects young people, including women. Proactive preventive measures including follow – up should commence early, and involve both men and women

Keywords: Atherosclerosis, coronary, young, men, women, Kenya


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eISSN: 2305-9478
print ISSN: 2226-6054