Pregnancy is not associated with altered morphology of the femoral artery
Article (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
While pregnancy is associated with adjustments in cardiovascular function, the morphology of the vascular system during pregnancy has been generally viewed as being very stable. However, recently we have demonstrated that pregnancy remodels the aorta and the carotid artery. In the present study, we assessed the morphological characteristics of the guinea-pig femoral artery during different stages of pregnancy using light and electron microscopy. There were no significant differences between external and internal diameters, wall thickness, total cross-sectional area and cross-sectional areas of lumen, intima, media, and adventitia of femoral arteries from non-pregnant and early-, mid- and late-pregnant guinea-pigs (n = 8-10), In previous studies, we have shown that the morphology of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells in the aorta and the carotid artery may be altered by pregnancy. Therefore, to test this possibility we measured diameters as well as cross-sectional areas of fem...oral arterial muscle and endothelial cells using electron microscopy. These parameters, at the electron microscopy level, were also not significantly changed by pregnancy (n = 8-10). It is concluded that the morphology of the guinea-pig femoral artery is not altered during pregnancy. In this regard, this study demonstrated that pregnancy-induced vascular remodelling varies between blood vessels that undergo the same functional alterations, Therefore, this may suggest that pregnancy-induced changes in blood flow through different vascular beds are not the most important factor involved in vascular remodelling observed during pregnancy. Rather, it is possible that haemodynamic-independent factors regulate pregnancy-mediated structural changes of the vascular wall.
Keywords:endothelium / femoral artery / pregnancy / remodelling / stereology
Source:Human Reproduction, 1999, 14, 7, 1885-1889
- Oxford Univ Press, Oxford