Table of Contents
ISRN Physiology
Volume 2013, Article ID 906031, 9 pages
Research Article

Structural and Functional Properties of Venous Wall: Relationship between Elastin, Collagen, and Smooth Muscle Components and Viscoelastic Properties

1Physiology Department, School of Medicine, CUiiDARTE, Republic University, General Flores 2125, 11800 Montevideo, Uruguay
2Favaloro University, C1093AAS Buenos Aires, Argentina
3National Council of Technical and Scientific Research (CONICET), C1033AAJ Buenos Aires, Argentina
4Technological National University, C1179AAQ Buenos Aires, Argentina

Received 11 March 2013; Accepted 7 April 2013

Academic Editors: Y. Ootsuka and W. Shen

Copyright © 2013 Yanina Zócalo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aims of this work were (1) to analyze the viscoelastic behavior of different venous segments and their differences, considering the structural characteristics (elastin, collagen, and smooth muscle content) of the venous wall; (2) to analyze the venous biomechanical behavior by means of the histological characteristics of the veins. Nine healthy male Corriedale sheep were included. One vein was selected from each animal to evaluate its biomechanical properties: (a) anterior vena cava, (b) right jugular vein, and (c) right femoral vein. Each selected vein was instrumented with pressure and diameter sensors. After excision, a small ring-shaped sample was set apart from each segment for histological analysis. The amounts of elastin, collagen and smooth muscle were correlated to calculated biomechanical parameters (high- and low-pressure compliance and viscosity). Conclusions are the following: (1) the viscoelastic behavior of the venous wall varies depending on the vascular territory, and it is associated with the variation of the histological structure. These differences involve muscle (both smooth and striated), elastin, and collagen contents. (2) In addition, the quantity of collagen was negatively correlated with high- and low-pressure compliances, and (3) the smooth muscle content was higher in peripheral veins and is positively correlated with venous wall viscosity.