Format of Original
Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Proceedings of SPIE 3978: Medical Imaging 2000: Physiology and Function from Multidimensional Images, San Diego, CA, (February 12, 2000)
Original Item ID
We developed methods to quantify arterial structural and mechanical properties in excised rat lungs and applied them to investigate the distensibility decrease accompanying chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. Lungs of control and hypertensive (three weeks 11% O2) animals were excised and a contrast agent introduced before micro-CT imaging with a special purpose scanner. For each lung, four 3D image data sets were obtained, each at a different intra-arterial contrast agent pressure. Vessel segment diameters and lengths were measured at all levels in the arterial tree hierarchy, and these data used to generate features sensitive to distensibility changes. Results indicate that measurements obtained from 3D micro-CT images can be used to quantify vessel biomechanical properties in this rat model of pulmonary hypertension and that distensibility is reduced by exposure to chronic hypoxia. Mechanical properties can be assessed in a localized fashion and quantified in a spatially-resolved way or as a single parameter describing the tree as a whole. Micro-CT is a nondestructive way to rapidly assess structural and mechanical properties of arteries in small animal organs maintained in a physiological state. Quantitative features measured by this method may provide valuable insights into the mechanisms causing the elevated pressures in pulmonary hypertension of differing etiologies and should become increasingly valuable tools in the study of complex phenotypes in small-animal models of important diseases such as hypertension.