Indexed on: 15 Nov '11Published on: 15 Nov '11Published in: Journal of Surgical Research
Current research data indicate that a hernia is a manifestation of a generalized polyethiological connective tissue pathology. The goal of this study was to demonstrate ultrastructural differences in tissues distant from the hernial defect.Biopsy specimens harvested upon thigh surgery from 12 males aged 25-65 y were compared. Seven of these men had an inguinal hernia or a history thereof. Scanning electron microphotograms taken at a magnification of 50× were analyzed with the use of Image J software. For every patient, 100 thickness measurements were performed of the fibrous elements (cross-sections) visible in five consecutive photograms. The person performing the measurements had no means of identifying the patient from whom the specimen had been harvested.The authors have found the thickness of the fibers to fall in the range from 23.441 u (ImageJ intrinsic units) to 94.878 u in the hernia group and 22.067 u to 303.681 u for the control group. A statistically significant difference was found between the mean values of thickness measurements of the fibrous elements in the study and control groups.The study has shown that in patients with an inguinal hernia, the mean diameter of fibers within the fascia lata is significantly smaller. This appears to indicate that the process is generalized and that one can expect the structural alterations to occur within the connective tissue of the entire organism. The authors speculate that they may result from a combination of external and internal factors.