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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1996 Nov;81(5):2123-33.

Morphometry of the human pulmonary vasculature.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Memphis, Tennessee 38152, USA.


The morphometric data on the branching pattern and vascular geometry of the human pulmonary arterial and venous trees are presented. Arterial and venous casts were prepared by the silicone elastomer casting method. Three recent innovations are used to describe the vascular geometry: the diameter-defined Strahler ordering model is used to assign branching orders, the connectivity matrix is used to describe the connection of blood vessels from one order to another, and a distinction between vessel segments and vessel elements is used to express the series-parallel feature of the pulmonary vessels. A total of 15 orders of arteries were found between the main pulmonary artery and the capillaries in the left lung and a total of 15 orders of veins between the capillaries and the left atrium in the right lung. The elemental and segmental data are presented. The morphometric data are then used to compute the total cross-sectional areas, blood volumes, and fractal dimensions in the pulmonary arterial and venous trees.

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