Gaudio, Eugenio and Chaberek, Slawomir and Montella, Andrea Costantino Mario and Pannarale, Luigi and Morini, Sergio and Novelli, Gilnardo and Borghese, Federica and Conte, Davide and Ostrowski, Kazimierz (2005) Fractal and Fourier analysis of the hepatic sinusoidal network in normal and cirrhotic rat liver. Journal of Anatomy, Vol. 207 (2), p. 107-115. eISSN 1469-7580. Article.
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The organization of the hepatic microvascular network has been widely studied in recent years, especially with regard to cirrhosis. This research has enabled us to recognize the distinctive vascular patterns in the cirrhotic liver, compared with the normal liver, which may explain the cause of liver dysfunction and failure. The aim of this study was to compare normal and cirrhotic rat livers by means of a quantitative mathematical approach based on fractal and Fourier analyses performed on photomicrographs and therefore on discriminant analysis. Vascular corrosion casts of livers belonging to the following three experimental groups were studied by scanning electron microscopy: normal rats, CCl4-induced cirrhotic rats and cirrhotic rats after ligation of the bile duct. Photomicrographs were taken at a standard magnification; these images were used for the mathematical analysis. Our experimental design found that use of these different analyses reaches an efficiency of over 94%. Our analyses demonstrated a higher complexity of the normal hepatic sinusoidal network in comparison with the cirrhotic network. In particular, the morphological changes were more marked in the animals with bile duct-ligation cirrhosis compared with animals with CCl4-induced cirrhosis. The present findings based on fractal and Fourier analysis could increase our understanding of the pathophysiological alterations of the liver, and may have a diagnostic value in future clinical research.
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