Cryosurgical effects on growing vessels

Alan P. Ladd, Frederick J. Rescorla, John G. Baust, Michael Callahan, Mary Davis, Jay L. Grosfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Cryosurgical treatment of unresectable hepatic malignancies has proven beneficial in adults. Concerns regarding its use in children include the effect on growth and the risk of injury to adjacent structures. To test the effect of cryoablation on adjacent vascular structures in a growing animal, liquid nitrogen cryoablation was performed on a juvenile murine model. Sprague Dawley rats underwent double freeze-thaw cryoablation of the abdominal aorta with interposed liver tissue. Serial sacrifices were performed over 120 days. Comparisons were made with sham-operated controls. Overall, animal growth paralleled that of sham controls through all time points. Gross examination of aortic diameter also showed similar growth in vessel size between the groups. Histologic analysis demonstrated injury after cryoablation with smooth muscle cell vacuolization, followed by cell death. Aortic media layer collapse resulted from cellular loss, however, elastin fiber composition was maintained. Aortic patency was preserved despite evidence of cellular injury and aortic wall remodeling. An associated thermal sink effect on the opposing wall was identified. After cryoablation adjacent to the abdominal aorta in adolescent rats, vascular patency is maintained and animal growth and structural function is preserved, despite cellular injury and wall compression. These observations suggest that cryoablation may be a useful treatment adjunct in young subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-682
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Ladd, A. P., Rescorla, F. J., Baust, J. G., Callahan, M., Davis, M., & Grosfeld, J. L. (1999). Cryosurgical effects on growing vessels. American Surgeon, 65(7), 677-682.