Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Nicholas B. Anthony

Committee Member

Nicholas B. Anthony

Second Committee Member

Robert F. Wideman Jr.

Third Committee Member

Gisela F. Erf


Biological sciences, Ascites, Broilers, Plexiform lesions, Pulmonary hypertension


Complex Vascular Lesions, (CVL) are a common vascular change associated with idiopathicpulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). CVL have been characterized in studies using animal models involving, but not limited to, Sprague-Dawley rats and poultry (Abe et al., 2010; Wideman et al., 2011).IPAH has been documented in poultry although no connection has been made with CVLs. The current study characterizes CVL in the lungs from broilers derived from lines divergently selected for 15 generations for ascites susceptibility under conditions of simulated high altitude. The ascites RES and SUS lines were sampled for CVL incidence over time. Both lines were reared in a common environment and provided feed and water ad libitum . At ages 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks post hatch, five males andfive females from each line were sampled and lung tissue fixed, sectioned and stained for microscopy. Lung sections were then scored for CVL incidence by two independent researchers. CVL data were analyzed based on age post-hatch, gender, line, body weight, lung volume and CVL location in the lung.Findings indicate the SUS line exhibited a generally higher CVL incidence than the RES line at all ages when reared at local altitude. Also the RES line had a greater lung volume to body weight ratio,throughout the latter part of the study (56 &ge days of age). This may suggest that improved lung volume to body weight ratio, may result in a decrease in CVL incidence. These broiler lines are potentially valuable in future animal model research.