[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test our hypothesis that an elevation in the aggregation level of red blood cells found in human pathological conditions will significantly enhance cell-free layer formation in small arterioles.
Visualization of arteriolar blood flow in rat cremaster muscle was carried out in both normal and reduced flow conditions before and after Dextran 500 infusion to simulate physiological and pathological levels of red blood cell aggregation in humans.
Both normalized mean (p < 0.0001) and SD (p < 0.002) of the layer width were significantly enhanced after hyper-aggregation induction in reduced flow conditions (mean pseudoshear rate = 57.3 ± 7.2/sec). Normalized mean and SD of the layer width generally increased with decreasing vessel radius and this effect was most pronounced with hyper-aggregation in reduced flow conditions. The threshold pseudoshear rate at which the layer formation became more pronounced when compared with non-aggregating condition was higher with hyper-aggregation (217/sec) than normal-aggregation induction (139/sec).
Our findings confirmed the formation of a prominent cell-free layer in the arterioles under higher shear conditions at pathological aggregation levels and this effect became more pronounced in smaller arterioles in normalizing the layer to the vessel radius.
Microcirculation (New York, N.Y.: 1994) 05/2011; 18(7):541-51. DOI:10.1111/j.1549-8719.2011.00114.x · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histogram-based thresholding techniques utilized for cell-free layer width measurement in arteriolar flow may produce an overestimation of the layer width since they do not consider faint shaded regions near the vessel wall as part of the erythrocyte column. To address this problem, we developed a new method for detecting the boundary of the erythrocyte column based on an edge detection algorithm. This automated method (grayscale method) provides local detections of the inner vessel wall as well as the boundary between the cell-free layer and the erythrocyte column without binarization of grayscale images. The cell-free layer width measurements using the grayscale method and existing techniques (minimum method and Otsu's method) were compared with those determined manually in arteriolar flows of the rat cremaster muscle. In the absence of the shaded regions, values obtained by the grayscale method and minimum method were statistically in good agreement with the manual method but not in the case of Otsu's method. When the faint shaded regions were present, the grayscale method appeared to produce more accurate results than the minimum method and Otsu's method.