Biomedical and General Engineering Department
BS in Biomedical Engineering
Peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) occurs when there is narrowing or blockage of the peripheral arteries that carry blood to the extremities, most commonly the legs. The most common symptom of PAOD is intermittent claudication, or ischemic pain during exercise. Women with PAOD experience a greater extremity functional impairment than men. Since impaired vasodilation might cause the ischemic pain from PAOD, we should evaluate vasodilation post ligation in males and females in collateral vessels, which connect two arterial segments to maintain blood flow to an otherwise hypoxic area. First, we need to examine collateral vasodilation in unoperated male and female animals. The goal of this study was to create a consistent protocol to measure functional vasodilation in collaterals of male and female C57Bl/6 mice, and to test the hypothesis that unoperated male and female C57Bl/6 mice exhibit equal vasodilation. The spinotrapezius muscle allows for clear visualization of intramuscular collaterals, which in animal models and patients will undergo arteriogenesis in response to an arterial occlusion. The muscle was stimulated using microelectrodes to induce endogenous vasodilation, and resting and dilated diameters were recorded. Diameters obtained from covering the preparation with plastic wrap and irrigating the preparation with a physiological salt solution (PSS) were also compared to determine the effect of the preparation of the muscle on vasodilation. As expected, there was no difference between the resting diameters or the dilated diameters of males and females when preparations were irrigated with PSS. Additionally, the preparation of the muscle had no effect on vasodilation. These findings suggest further investigation into vasodilation post ligation in males and females in collateral vessels.