A model for geometric and mechanical adaptation of arteries to sustained hypertension
This study aimed to model phenomenologically the dynamics of arterial wall remodeling under hypertensive conditions. Sustained hypertension was simulated by a step increase in blood pressure. The arterial wall was considered to be a thick-walled tube made of nonlinear elastic incompressible material. Remodeling rate equations were postulated for the evolution of the geometric dimensions of the hypertensive artery at the zero-stress state, as well as for one of the material constants in the constitutive equations. The driving stimuli for the geometric adaptation are the normalized deviations of wall stresses from their values under normotensive conditions. The geometric dimensions are modulated by the evolution of the deformed inner radius, which serves to restore the level of the flow-induced shear stresses at the arterial endothelium. Mechanical adaptation is driven by the difference between the area compliance under hypertensive and normotensive conditions. The predicted time course of the geometry and mechanical properties of arterial wall are in good qualitative agreement with published experimental findings. The model predicts that the geometric adaptation maintains the stress distribution in arterial wall to its control level, while the mechanical adaptation restores the normal arterial function under induced hypertension.