Branching patterns in the porcine coronary arterial tree. Estimation of flow heterogeneity.
The aim of this study is to quantify the porcine coronary arterial branching pattern and to use this quantification for the interpretation of flow heterogeneity. Two casts of the coronary arterial tree were made at diastolic arrest and maximal dilation. The relation between length and diameter of arterial segments was quantified, as well as the area expansion ratio and diameter symmetry of vascular nodes. These relations were used to construct computer models of the coronary arterial tree, covering diameters between 10 and 500 microns. Topology of these simulated trees was analyzed using Strahler ordering: Bifurcation ratio, diameter ratio, and length ratio were constant along orders 2-8 and equal to 3.30, 1.51, and 1.63, respectively. In each order, the number of segments per Strahler vessel was almost geometrically distributed. For the lowest orders, these predictions were confirmed by direct observations. From the network model, local pressure and flow were also predicted: Pressure fell from 90 to 32 mm Hg at the 10-microns level. The coefficient of variation (CV) of flow in individual segments was dependent on the number of perfused terminal segments (Nt) according to the fractal relation CV(Nt) approximately Nt(1-D), where D is the fractal dimension (1.20). CV of flow in 1-g tissue units was predicted to be 18%. This study shows that the structure of the coronary arterial bed is an important determinant of the fractal nature of local flow heterogeneity.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association