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J. Imaging 2019, 5(2), 22;

Understanding Vasomotion of Lung Microcirculation by In Vivo Imaging

Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
Department of Experimental Medicine, Università di Milano Bicocca, 20900 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 November 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-vivo Imaging)
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The balance of lung extravascular water depends upon the control of blood flow in the alveolar distribution vessels that feed downstream two districts placed in parallel, the corner vessels and the alveolar septal network. The occurrence of an edemagenic condition appears critical as an increase in extravascular water endangers the thinness of the air–blood barrier, thus negatively affecting the diffusive capacity of the lung. We exposed anesthetized rabbits to an edemagenic factor (12% hypoxia) for 120 min and followed by in vivo imaging the micro-vascular morphology through a “pleural window” using a stereo microscope at a magnification of 15× (resolution of 7.2 μm). We measured the change in diameter of distribution vessels (50–200 μm) and corner vessels (<50 μm). On average, hypoxia caused a significant decrease in diameter of both smaller distribution vessels (about ~50%) and corner vessels (about ~25%) at 30 min. After 120 min, reperfusion occurred. Regional differences in perivascular interstitial volume were observed and could be correlated with differences in blood flow control. To understand such difference, we modelled imaged alveolar capillary units, obtained by Voronoi method, integrating microvascular pressure parameters with capillary filtration. Results of the analysis suggested that at 120 min, alveolar blood flow was diverted to the corner vessels in larger alveoli, which were found also to undergo a greater filtration indicating greater proneness to develop lung edema. View Full-Text
Keywords: in vivo microscopy; lung capillaries; edema; image-based modeling in vivo microscopy; lung capillaries; edema; image-based modeling

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Mazzuca, E.; Aliverti, A.; Miserocchi, G. Understanding Vasomotion of Lung Microcirculation by In Vivo Imaging. J. Imaging 2019, 5, 22.

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