Histology of subcutaneous small arteries from patients with essential hypertension.
The purpose of the present study was to determine the cellular basis for the increased ratio of media thickness to lumen diameter (media-lumen ratio) consistently found in the peripheral resistance arteries from patients with essential hypertension using an unbiased stereological principle (the "disector"). Segments of subcutaneous resistance arteries (approximately 200 microns internal diameter) were isolated from gluteal biopsies of skin and subcutaneous fat taken from 16 untreated patients with essential hypertension and 16 age- and sex-matched normotensive control subjects. Measured under standardized conditions (ie, relaxed and under controlled mechanical conditions) on an isometric myograph, vessels from hypertensive patients had a significant (P < .05) reduction in lumen diameter and an increase in media-lumen ratio (P < .05) compared with vessels from normotensive control subjects. These changes were not associated with alterations in the estimated media volume per segment length. After these measurements had been made, the arteries were fixed, serial sectioned, and stained. The volume fraction of smooth muscle cells within the media was estimated by point counting on photomicrographs of the vessels. Using the disector principle, we determined the numerical density (number per unit volume) of smooth muscle cells within the media of each vessel and calculated the average smooth muscle cell volume (1775 +/- 122 [mean +/- SEM] and 1532 +/- 112 microns 3, hypertensive and normotensive, respectively, P > .05) on the basis of these measurements.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association