Comparative Analysis of Porcine and Human Thoracic Aortic Stiffness

Hector W.L. de Beaufort, Anna Ferrara, Michele Conti, Frans L. Moll, Joost A. van Herwaarden, C. Alberto Figueroa, Jean Bismuth, Ferdinando Auricchio, Santi Trimarchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: To compare porcine and human thoracic aortic stiffness using the available literature. Methods: The available literature was searched for studies reporting data on porcine or human thoracic aortic mechanical behaviour. A four fibre constitutive model was used to transform the data from included studies. Thus, equi-biaxial stress stretch curves were generated to calculate circumferential and longitudinal aortic stiffness. Analysis was performed separately for the ascending and descending thoracic aorta. Data on human aortic stiffness were divided by age <60 or ≥60 years. Porcine and human aortic stiffness were compared. Results: Eleven studies were included, six reported on young porcine aortas, four on human aortas of various ages, and one reported on both. In the ascending aorta, circumferential and longitudinal stiffness were 0.42±0.08 MPa and 0.37±0.06 MPa for porcine aortas (4–9 months) versus 0.55±0.15 MPa and 0.45±0.08 MPa for humans <60 years, and 1.02±0.59 MPa and 1.03±0.54 MPa for humans ≥60 years. In the descending aorta, circumferential and longitudinal stiffness were 0.46±0.03 MPa and 0.44±0.01 MPa for porcine aortas (4–10 months) versus 1.04±0.70 MPa and 1.24±0.76 MPa for humans <60 years, and 3.15±3.31 MPa and 1.17±0.31 MPa for humans ≥60 years. Conclusions: The stiffness of young porcine aortic tissue shows good correspondence with human tissue aged <60 years, especially in the ascending aorta. Young porcine aortic tissue is less stiff than human aortic tissue aged ≥60 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-566
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Aorta
  • Elastic modulus
  • Material properties
  • Porcine model
  • Stiffness
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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