Histological Changes in the Heart and Aorta of the Adult Wistar Rat Following Exposure to Cement Dust

The heart is a vital organ of the body that pumps blood through the aorta and its branches which provide blood flow to all organs and tissues of the body. Any injury causes distortion of the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system. This study investigated the histological changes in the heart and aorta of Wistar rats following exposure to cement dust. Twenty-four (24) Wistar rats weighing between 250 g and 280 g were divided into 4 groups of 6 rats per group. Group A rats were placed in a cement dust free chamber while Group B - D rats were exposed to various concentrations of cement dust dispersed from 5 g, 10 g and 20 g of cement, respectively. The weights of the rats were taken weekly and the difference between them and previous weights were noted. At the end of the 30th day of exposure, the animals were euthanized under chloroform anaesthesia and the heart and aorta were harvested and processed for histological examination. The histological sections of the heart and aorta of rats in Group A revealed normal myocardial and vascular architecture. There were observable histological variations in the myocardial and vascular architecture of the exposed rats (Groups B-D) which include haemorrhages in the myocardial and aortic wall, vascular congestion as well as inflammation of the myocardial and aortic wall. These injuries are consistent with usual histological findings in myocarditis and aortitis. It was concluded that cement dust had histomorphological effects on the muscles of the heart and aorta which are capable of compromising the health of the research animals.
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