Cellular and Molecular Biology

A quantitative investigation of microvascular changes in the thyroid gland after infrared (IR) laser radiation

C. Parrado1, F. Carrillo de Albornoz2, L. Vidal1 and I. Pérez de Vargas1.

1Department of Normal and Pathological Morphology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Málaga, Málaga and
2Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain

Offprint requests to: Prof. L. Vidal, Department of Normal and Pathological Morphology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Málaga, 29080 Málaga, Spain


Summary. We present an ultrastructural study of thyroid capillaries in which 50-day-old rats Wistar rats, were irradiated with an infrared (IR) laser, (total dose, 46.80 J/cm2), the tissue quantified 1 day after ending treatment and a quantitative capillary analysis carried out by light and electron microscopy. Light microscopy was used to calculate capillary volume density revealing a significant increase in the irradiated rats. The quantitative measurement of parameters by electron microscopy required a two stage analysis: Level I, Electron Microscopy (Magnification x5,000); and Level II, Electron Microscopy (Magnification x26,000). At Level I, the following parameters were measured in each capillary: capillary area, capillary diameter, luminal area, luminal diameter, endothelial area, nuclear area and mean endothelial thickness. At Level II, pinocytotic vesicle diameter and their numerical density in endothelial cells were evaluated. Electron microscopic analysis revealed an increased luminal area in the capillaries of the irradiated rats. They also presented a decrease in endothelial cell thickness and vesicular diameter and an increase in vesicle numerical density. This latter increase is indicative of presumptive changes in capillary permeability, but the possible functional significance of these morphological changes in the endothelial cells requires further investigation. Histol. Histopathol. 14, 1067-1071 (1999)

Key words: Thyroid capillaries, Light microscopy, Electron microscopy, Morphometry, Stereology

DOI: 10.14670/HH-14.1067