Cicutti, N., K. Rakusan and H. F. Downey. Colored microspheres reveal interarterial microvascular anastomoses in canine myocardium. Basic Res Cardiol. 87:400-9, 1992.
While the presence of microvascular intercommunication within an individual myocardial arterial bed is well documented, there is a paucity of data to support the existence of anastomoses emanating from independent arterial beds. Simultaneous in-vivo infusion of two different colored microsphere suspensions into the left anterior descending (LAD) and left circumflex (LCx) coronary arteries identified a specific interface region of canine myocardium that was perfused by both arterial branches. Subsequent microscopic/morphometric analysis of 40 microns serial sections in eight hearts revealed clustering of microspheres in their respective perfusion territories (red microspheres in the LAD region away from the interface, blue microspheres in the LCx field away from the interface), along with a mutually perfused borderzone. In each tissue section, two regions within this zone were identified and their maximum widths measured. One region was defined as the Interface Transition Zone (ITZ) (mean width = 5251 +/- 770 microns; mean +/- SD). This region was formed by an intermingling of microvessels supplied by the parent arteries of the adjacent perfusion territories; it separated tissue containing only one or the other colored microspheres. The second region was defined as the Boundary Watershed Zone (BWZ) (mean zone width = 3151 +/- 611 microns; mean +/- SD). This region was formed by capillaries containing sphere aggregates of both colors; it was located exclusively within the ITZ. In addition, the ITZ and BWZ were significantly wider in subepicardial than in subendocardial regions (p less than 0.001).