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      Geometric Characteristics of Arterial Network of Rat Pial Microcirculation

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          Abstract

          Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the geometric characteristics of rat pial microcirculation and describe the vessel bifurcation patterns by ‘connectivity matrix’. Methods: Male Wistar rats were used to visualize pial microcirculation by a fluorescent microscopy technique through an open cranial window, using fluorescein isothiocyanate bound to dextran (molecular weight 70 kDa). The arteriolar network was mapped by stop-frame images. Diameters and lengths of arterioles were measured with a computer-assisted method. Pial arterioles were classified according to a centripetal ordering scheme (Strahler method modified according to diameter) from the smallest order 1 to the largest order 5 arterioles in the preparation. A distinction between arteriolar segments and elements was used to express the series-parallel features of the pial arteriolar networks. A connectivity matrix was used to describe the connection of blood vessels from one order to another. Results: The arterioles were assigned 5 orders of branching by Strahler’s ordering scheme, from order 1 (diameter: 16.0 ± 2.5 µm) to order 5 (62 ± 5.0 µm). Order 1 arterioles gave origin to capillaries, assigned order 0. The diameter, length and branching of the 5 arteriolar orders grew as a geometric sequence with the order number in accordance with Horton’s law. The segments/elements ratio was the highest in order 4 and 3 arterioles, indicating the greatest asymmetry of ramifications. Finally, the branching vessels in the networks were described in details by the connectivity matrix. Fractal dimensions of arteriolar length and diameter were 1.75 and 1.78, respectively. Conclusions: The geometric characteristics of rat pial microcirculation indicate that distribution of vessels is fractal. The connectivity matrix allowed us to describe the number of daughter vessels spreading from parent vessels. This ordering scheme may be useful to describe vessel function, according to diameter, length and branching.

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          Most cited references 7

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          HYPSOMETRIC (AREA-ALTITUDE) ANALYSIS OF EROSIONAL TOPOGRAPHY

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            Topological structure of rat mesenteric microvessel networks.

            Microvascular lengths, diameters, and flow directions were determined in all vessel segments (n = 1303) between bifurcations in three complete rat mesenteric microvessel networks (25 mm2 each) using intravital video- and photomicroscopy. The classification of vessel segments as arteriolar, venular, or av-segments (all segments connecting the arteriolar to the venular tree) was based on purely topological criteria. The topological structure of the networks was analyzed using the Horton-Strahler technique and a new generation scheme. Generation numbers were assigned to the vessel segments on the basis of the number of upstream (in the arteriolar tree) and downstream (in the venular tree) bifurcations. The mean generation number of the av-segments, a characteristic parameter of the generation scheme, reflects the topological structure of the network more accurately than Horton's branching ratio Rb. Both the arteriolar and venular tree of the mesenteric networks were found to be dichotomous branching structures which were neither strictly symmetric nor strictly asymmetric. The topological information obtained was compared to network models generated by different random branching algorithms. The result of this comparison suggests that the network structure changes at a certain generation level. Distal to this generation level, the mesenteric networks resemble a model network generated by random branching at any segment, while the proximal portion is similar to a model allowing random branching at terminal segments only.
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              Microcirculatory model relating geometrical variation to changes in pressure and flow rate

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JVR
                J Vasc Res
                10.1159/issn.1018-1172
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                1018-1172
                1423-0135
                2008
                December 2007
                27 September 2007
                : 45
                : 1
                : 69-77
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Pisa, Pisa, and bDepartment of Neuroscience, Federico II University Medical School, Naples, Italy
                Article
                109078 J Vasc Res 2008;45:69–77
                10.1159/000109078
                17901708
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 6, References: 25, Pages: 9
                Categories
                Research Paper

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