Abstract

We propose a relatively simple two-dimensional mathematical model for maladaptive inward remodeling of resistive arteries in hypertension in terms of vascular solid mechanics. The main premises are: (i) maladaptive inward remodeling manifests as a reduced increase in the arterial mass compared to the case of adaptive remodeling under equivalent hypertensive pressures and (ii) the pressure-induced circumferential stress in the arterial wall is restored to its basal target value as happens in the case of adaptive remodeling. The rationale for these assumptions are the experimental findings that elevated tone in association with sustained hypertensive pressure down-regulate the normal differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells from contractile to synthetic phenotype and the data for the calculated hoop stress prior to and after completion of remodeling. Results from illustrative simulations show that as the hypertensive pressure increases, remodeling causes a non-monotonic variation of arterial mass, decrease in inner arterial diameter, and increase in wall thickness. These findings and the model prediction that inward eutrophic remodeling is preceded by inward hypertrophic remodeling are supported by published observations. Limitations and perspectives for refining the mathematical model are discussed.

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