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January 1972

Corrugated Arteries: Fixed Pathology or Functional Alteration?

Arch Surg. 1972;104(1):18-19. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180010012002

Corrugated arteries, stationary waves, standing arterial waves, or arterial rippling are all terms which describe the unusual appearance of regular, periodic, symmetric transverse striations in the contrast column in medium-sized muscular arteries at angiography (Figure). They are a phenomenon which various reports have described and attempted to explain. At present four main theories deserve consideration and scrutiny.

The phenomenon was first recognized in the femoral arteries and discussed by Wickbom and Bartley1 in a report in 1957 on complications of catheter angiography. These authors reasoned that the phenomenon was caused by circular muscle spasm, because it disappeared when tolazoline (Priscoline) hydrochloride was administered. Subsequent reports described corrugated arteries in the internal carotid, radial, splenic, superior mesenteric, and renal arteries, and proposed other explanations. Theander2 favored a fluid-mechanical theory. He postulated that pulse-pressure waves, generated by the heart and forced through the arterial tree, are reflected at branching points

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