Format of Original
Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Proceedings of SPIE 3772: Developments in X-Ray Tomography II, (September 22, 1999)
Original Item ID
Stiffening, or loss of distensibility, of arterial vessel walls is among the manifestations of a number of vascular diseases including pulmonary arterial hypertension. We are attempting to quantify the mechanical properties of vessel walls of the pulmonary arterial tree using parameters derived from high-resolution volumetric x-ray CT images of rat lungs. The pulmonary arterial trees of the excised lungs are filled with a contrast agent. The lungs are imaged with arterial pressures spanning the physiological range. Vessel segment diameters are measured from the inlet to the periphery, and distensibilities calculated from diameters as a function of pressure. The method shows promise as an adjunct to other morphometric techniques such as histology and corrosion casting. It possesses the advantages of being nondestructive, characterizing the vascular structures while the lungs are imaged rapidly and in a near-physiological state, and providing the ability to associate mechanical properties with vessel location in the intact tree hierarchy.