Scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts and histologic examination of pulmonary microvasculature in dogs with dirofilariosis

Hiroyoshi Ninomiya Department of Laboratory Animal Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe Sagamihara Kanagawa 229- 8501, Japan.

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 DVM, PhD
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Yoshito Wakao Department of Veterinary Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe Sagamihara Kanagawa 229- 8501, Japan.

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Abstract

Objective—To characterize structural changes in pulmonary vessels of dogs with dirofilariosis.

Animals—8 dogs with dirofilariosis and 2 unaffected control dogs.

Procedure—Pulmonary artery pressure was measured in affected dogs, and dogs then were euthanatized. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine vascular corrosion casts of pulmonary vasculature. Tissue sections of pulmonary vasculature were evaluated by use of histologic examination.

Results—Pulmonary artery pressure was higher in dogs with severely affected pulmonary vessels. In tissue sections, dilatation, as well as lesions in the tunica intima and proliferative lesions resulting in constriction or obstruction, were frequently observed in branches of the pulmonary artery. Numerous dilated bronchial arteries were observed around affected pulmonary arteries. Hyperplastic venous sphincters were observed in small pulmonary veins and venules. In corrosion casts, affected pulmonary lobar arteries had dilatation, pruning, abnormal tapering, constriction, and obstruction. In small arteries and arterioles, surface structures representing aneurisms and edema were seen. Bronchial arteries were well developed and extremely dilated, and they formed numerous anastomoses with pulmonary arteries at all levels, from the pulmonary trunk to peripheral vessels. Capillaries in the lungs were dilated with little structural change. Small pulmonary veins and venules had irregular annular constrictions that were caused by hyperplastic smooth muscle cells of venous sphincters.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Scanning electron microscopy of microvascular casts delineated links between the bronchial and pulmonary circulations in dogs with dirofilariosis. Results of scanning electron microscopy provided a structural explanation for the development of pulmonary circulatory disturbances and pulmonary hypertension in dogs affected by dirofilariosis. (Am J Vet Res 2002:63:1538–1544)

Abstract

Objective—To characterize structural changes in pulmonary vessels of dogs with dirofilariosis.

Animals—8 dogs with dirofilariosis and 2 unaffected control dogs.

Procedure—Pulmonary artery pressure was measured in affected dogs, and dogs then were euthanatized. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine vascular corrosion casts of pulmonary vasculature. Tissue sections of pulmonary vasculature were evaluated by use of histologic examination.

Results—Pulmonary artery pressure was higher in dogs with severely affected pulmonary vessels. In tissue sections, dilatation, as well as lesions in the tunica intima and proliferative lesions resulting in constriction or obstruction, were frequently observed in branches of the pulmonary artery. Numerous dilated bronchial arteries were observed around affected pulmonary arteries. Hyperplastic venous sphincters were observed in small pulmonary veins and venules. In corrosion casts, affected pulmonary lobar arteries had dilatation, pruning, abnormal tapering, constriction, and obstruction. In small arteries and arterioles, surface structures representing aneurisms and edema were seen. Bronchial arteries were well developed and extremely dilated, and they formed numerous anastomoses with pulmonary arteries at all levels, from the pulmonary trunk to peripheral vessels. Capillaries in the lungs were dilated with little structural change. Small pulmonary veins and venules had irregular annular constrictions that were caused by hyperplastic smooth muscle cells of venous sphincters.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Scanning electron microscopy of microvascular casts delineated links between the bronchial and pulmonary circulations in dogs with dirofilariosis. Results of scanning electron microscopy provided a structural explanation for the development of pulmonary circulatory disturbances and pulmonary hypertension in dogs affected by dirofilariosis. (Am J Vet Res 2002:63:1538–1544)

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