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Pulmonary vessel casting in a rat model of monocrotaline‐mediated pulmonary hypertension


Pulmonary hypertension is a chronic vascular disease characterized by pulmonary vasoconstriction and pulmonary arterial remodeling. Pulmonary arterial remodeling is mainly due to small pulmonary arterial wall thickening and lumen occlusion. Previous studies have described intravascular changes in lung sections using histopathology, but few were able to obtain a fine detailed image of the pulmonary vascular system. In this study, we used Microfil compounds to cast the pulmonary arteries in a rat model of monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension. High-quality images that enabled quantification of distal pulmonary arterial branching based on the number of vessel bifurcations/junctions were demonstrated in this model. The branch and junction counts of distal pulmonary arteries significantly decreased in the monocrotaline group compared to the control group, and this effect was inversely proportional to the mean pulmonary artery pressure observed in each group. The patterns of pulmonary vasculature and the methods for pulmonary vessel casting are presented to provide a basis for future studies of pulmonary arterial remodeling due to pulmonary hypertension and other lung diseases that involve the remodeling of vasculature.

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