Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Three-dimensional morphometric analysis of the renal vasculature

Khan, Z., Ngo, J.P., Le, B., Evans, R.G., Pearson, J.T., Gardiner, B.S. and Smith, D.W. (2018) Three-dimensional morphometric analysis of the renal vasculature. American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology, 314 (5). F715-F725.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Vascular topology and morphology are critical in the regulation of blood flow and the transport of small solutes, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Renal vascular morphology is particularly challenging, since many arterial walls are partially wrapped by the walls of veins. In the absence of a precise characterization of three-dimensional branching vascular geometry, accurate computational modeling of the intrarenal transport of small diffusible molecules is impossible. An enormous manual effort was required to achieve a relatively precise characterization of rat renal vascular geometry, highlighting the need for an automated method for analysis of branched vasculature morphology to allow characterization of the renal vascular geometry of other species, including humans. We present a semisupervised method for three-dimensional morphometric analysis of renal vasculature images generated by computed tomography. We derive quantitative vascular attributes important to mass transport between arteries, veins, and the renal tissue and present methods for their computation for a three-dimensional vascular geometry. To validate the algorithm, we compare automated vascular estimates with subjective manual measurements for a portion of rabbit kidney. Although increased image resolution can improve outcomes, our results demonstrate that the method can quantify the morphological characteristics of artery-vein pairs, comparing favorably with manual measurements. Similar to the rat, we show that rabbit artery-vein pairs become less intimate along the course of the renal vasculature, but the total wrapped mass transfer coefficient increases and then decreases. This new method will facilitate new quantitative physiological models describing the transport of small molecules within the kidney.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: American Physiological Society
Copyright: © 2018 the American Physiological Society
Item Control Page Item Control Page