Mophometric study of the aortic arch and its major branches in rat fetuses on the 21st day of gestation

L. Monnereau, A. Carretero, S. Berges, M. Navarro, M. Leonard, F. Lyazrhi, J. Sautet, J. Ruberte

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The anatomy and embryology of the aortic arch and its branching tributaries (brachiocephalic trunk, left common carotid artery and left subclavian artery) in man and animals are well substantiated. However, the anatomical variations and morphometry of the aortic arch and its branching tributaries in rat fetus at the 21st gestation day have not been studied. Pregnant rats were hysterectomized and the arterial systems of 114 fetuses were injected with a polymerisable resin through the umbilical artery. After maceration, the vascular casts were dissected out and prepared for observations under a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The resulting SEM pictures were studied with a picture analyser and different vessel parameters (diameters, lengths and angles) were measured. The success rate of the microvascular cast injection was 46.5%. Out of the 53 observed aortic arch casts, 98.1% showed the classical branching pattern and one (1.9%) had no brachiocephalic trunk. Morphological analysis showed many differences, which were not linked to the litter. The statistical processing of the measurements enabled us to determine that the aorta diameter after the branching of the left subclavian artery was the most replicable parameter. Moreover, the results revealed some strong correlations between different parameters. There are probably no discrete categories among the various observed parameters as diameters and angles. Some parameters show very little variability and can thus be used as reference points for further studies such as the comparison of a control population with a population treated with a relevant xenobiotic. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-369
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005


  • Aortic arch
  • Fetus
  • Morphometry
  • Rat


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