Automated measurement and statistical modelling of elastic laminae in arteries

Hai Xu, Jin Jia Hu, Jay D. Humphrey, Jyh Charn Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Structural features of elastic laminae within arteries can provide vital information for both the mechanobiology and the biomechanics of the wall. In this paper, we propose, test and illustrate a new computer-based scheme for automated analysis of regional distributions of elastic laminae thickness, inter-lamellar distances and fragmentation furcation points (FPs) from standard histological images. Our scheme eliminates potential artefacts produced by tissue cutting, automatically aligns tissue according to physiologic orientations and performs cross-sectional measurements along radial directions. A statistical randomised complete block design and F test were used to assess the potential (non)-uniformity of lamellar thicknesses and separations along both radial and circumferential directions. Illustrative results for both normotensive and hypertensive thoracic porcine aorta revealed marked heterogeneity along the radial direction in nearly stress-free samples. Clearly, regional measurements can provide more detailed information about morphologic changes that cannot be gained by globally averaged evaluations alone. We also found that quantifying FP densities offers new information about potential elastin fragmentation, particularly in response to increased loading due to hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-763
Number of pages15
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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