It is scientifically and clinically important to understand the structure-function scaling of coronary arterial trees in compensatory (e.g., left and right ventricular hypertrophy, LVH and RVH) and decompensatory vascular remodeling (e.g., congestive heart failure, CHF). This study hypothesizes that intraspecific scaling power laws of vascular trees are preserved in hypertrophic hearts but not in CHF swine hearts. To test the hypothesis, we carried out the scaling analysis based on morphometry and hemodynamics of coronary arterial trees in moderate LVH, severe RVH, and CHF compared with age-matched respective control hearts. The scaling exponents of volume-diameter, length-volume, and flow-diameter power laws in control hearts were consistent with the theoretical predictions (i.e., 3, 7/9, and 7/3, respectively), which remained unchanged in LVH and RVH hearts. The scaling exponents were also preserved with an increase of body weight during normal growth of control animals. In contrast, CHF increased the exponents of volume-diameter and flow-diameter scaling laws to 4.25 ± 1.50 and 3.15 ± 1.49, respectively, in the epicardial arterial trees. This study validates the predictive utility of the scaling laws to diagnose vascular structure and function in CHF hearts to identify the borderline between compensatory and decompensatory remodeling.
- scaling laws
- fractal dimension
- structure-function hierarchy
- vascular remodeling
- left ventricular hypertrophy
- right ventricular hypertrophy
- congestive heart failure
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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