Transverse sections of arteries taken at post
mortem from the upper and lower limbs of human subjects of different ages have been examined. The
examination was directed specially towards the detection of differences in structure between (I) Arteries
of a similar size from different regions of the body,
amid (II) speciments of the same artery taken from
subjects of different ages.
The following conclusions have been reached.
1. The Arteries of the upper limb have on the
whole a more elastic media than those of the lower
2. The range of variation in structure is
greater in the vessels of the upper than in those of
the lower limb, i.e. although the Axillary Artery is
structurally much more elastic than the Femoral
Artery, the Radial Artery closely resembles the
Anterior Tibial Artery in the relative proportions
of muscular and elastic tissue in the medial coat.
3. Changes in the structure of the media with
age have been followed in each vessel examined.
In general it has been found that the most rapid
development of elastic tissue occurs during the
later months of foetal life. During the early
years of post natal life the development of muscular and elastic tissue proceeds at approximately
the same rate, while during early adult life
development of muscular tissue outruns that of
In later adult life regressive changes
appear, obvious first in the proximal vessels of
each limb and apparently accompanied in the early
stages by an increase in the elastic element of
the distal vessels.