Effects of chronic hypertension and its reversal on arteries and arterioles.
The reversibility of functional and structural microvascular alterations in chronic renal hypertension has not been established. Twelve weeks after surgery to induce hypertension, in vivo arteriolar and venular dimensions were measured in the cremaster muscle of rats with one-kidney, one-clip hypertension (1K1C), rats in which the clip was removed after 8 weeks (1KNT), and controls. Systolic blood pressure was significantly elevated after 3 days in 1K1C rats and reached a plateau by 6 weeks. In 1KNT rats, systolic blood pressures were similar to 1K1C rats but were normalized 1 day after unclipping. A marked medial-intimal hypertrophy was found by histological techniques in the thoracic and abdominal aortae (45% and 69%, respectively) but not in cremaster feeding arteries of 1K1C rats. These arterial changes were reversed after unclipping. In 1K1C rats, medial-intimal area decreased in first- through fourth-order (1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A) arterioles along with a decline in relaxed diameter (41%, 30%, 20%, and 21%, respectively), which was only partially restored after unclipping. Heart weight was increased by 67% in 1K1C rats, but it did not differ between 1KNT and controls. Therefore, the reversal of chronic renal hypertension can normalize gross structural alterations in the heart and large vessels, but more time may be required to normalize completely the arteriolar changes. These data indicate that long-term structural adaptations in renal hypertension are different in arterioles and arteries, and they may be related to chronic changes in blood flow and/or pressure.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association