53 Scopus citations


Resistance in blood vessels is directly related to the inner (luminal) diameter (ID). However, ID can be difficult to measure during physiological experiments because of poor transillumination of thick-walled or tightly constricted vessels. We investigated whether the wall crosssectional area (WCSA) in cannulated arteries is nearly constant, allowing IDs to be calculated from outer diameters (OD) using a single determination of WCSA. With the use of image analysis, OD and ID were directly measured using either transillumination or a fluorescent marker in the lumen. IDs from a variety of vessel types were calculated from WCSA at several reference pressures. Calculated IDs at all of the reference WCSA were within 5% (mean < 1%) of the corresponding measured IDs in all vessel types studied, including vessels from heterozygote elastin knockout animals. This was true over a wide range of transmural pressures, during treatment with agonists, and before and after treatment with KCN. In conclusion, WCSA remains virtually constant in cannulated vessels, allowing accurate determination of ID from OD measurement under a variety of experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1745-H1753
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 46-5
StatePublished - Nov 1999


  • Cross-sectional area
  • Lumen
  • Resistance


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