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A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 2000 June;19(2):135-41


language: English

Microvascular blood is distributed more to venules than to arterioles in patients with Buerger’s disease. Observation of bulbar conjunctiva by intravital microscope system

Homma S. a,d, Tsushima N. c, Minamiyama M. b, Hayashi T. a, Matsuo H. a

From the a Department of Internal Medicine, b Department of Vascular Physiology, National Cardiovascular Center, Suita, c Tsushima Clinic, Toyonaka, d Department of Critical Care Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan


Background. It has been a mat­ter of con­tro­ver­sy wheth­er abnor­mal­ities of organs other than extrem­ities may be a clin­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of Buerger’s dis­ease (throm­boan­giitis oblit­e­rans; TAO). In the ­present inves­ti­ga­tion, our aim was to quan­ti­ta­tive­ly char­ac­ter­ise the con­fig­u­ra­tion of micro­vas­cu­lar net­works in bul­bar con­junc­ti­va, which is not affect­ed appar­ent­ly, in ­patients with throm­boan­giitis oblit­e­rans.
Methods. Nine men with thromboangiitis obliterans attend­ed our hos­pi­tal and nine male vol­un­teers as nor­mal con­trols were ­enrolled in the study. We ­observed and ana­lysed the con­fig­u­ra­tion of the net­work of a bul­bar con­junc­ti­va by use of intra­vi­tal micro­scope ­system with com­put­er assist­ed image pro­cess­ing func­tions. Microvessel den­sity was ­described in terms of the sum of ves­sel ­length in a ROI and tor­tu­os­ity was eval­u­at­ed according to the ratio of ves­sel ­length to ­the direct dis­tance between the two ter­mi­nals.
Results. In the micro­cir­cu­la­tion of bul­bar con­junc­ti­va in throm­boan­giitis oblit­e­rans, arter­i­ole diam­e­ter was sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­decreased and den­sity of ­venules was sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­increased. Increased ven­u­lar den­sity was due in part to ­increased tor­tu­os­ity of ­venules.
Conclusions. Consequently, micro­vas­cu­lar blood was dis­trib­ut­ed more to ­venules than to arter­i­oles in ­patients with throm­boan­giitis oblit­e­rans. Venule/arter­i­ole ­ratios of diam­e­ter, tor­tu­os­ity and micro­ves­sel den­sity may be use­ful param­e­ters to char­ac­ter­ize the con­fig­u­ra­tion of micro­vas­cu­lar net­works in throm­boan­giitis oblit­e­rans.

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