, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 19-29
Date: 26 Oct 2006

Biomechanics of the Porcine Basilar Artery in Hypertension

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Abstract

Hypertension is a significant risk factor for diverse cerebrovascular diseases ranging from stroke to arteriovenous malformations and saccular aneurysms. Our increasing understanding of vascular mechanobiology reveals that changes in mechanical stimuli, such as increased blood pressure, alter basic cellular functions including the production and degradation of extracellular matrix as well as proliferation, migration, and apoptosis. Understanding changes in the biomechanical properties of the vascular wall is fundamental to correlating mechanobiological responses with the altered loads. In this paper, we present the first biomechanical data on a large cerebral artery in terms of the time of development of hypertension in maturity. Specifically, we report rapid changes in both the structural and the material stiffness of the passive basilar artery in a novel aortic-coarctation model of hypertension in the mini-pig. Histological measurements reveal associated increases in fibrillar collagens in the media and adventitia as well as increased smooth muscle in the media. That such dramatic changes occur within 2 weeks of the initiation of hypertension in maturity necessitates a detailed study of the early changes as well as the potential to reverse these changes at later times.