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It is now well established that structural changes in resistance vessels contribute to the long-term maintenance of many forms of hypertension. This study measured the time course of structural change in smaller resistance vessels during the development of de-oxycorticosterone acetates (DOCA) hypertension and after cessation of DOCA in Wistar rats by histometric assessment of cross-sections of renal arterioles. The relationship of structural change to blood pressure was assessed by preventing hypertension during DOCA treatment with hydralazine. Blood pressure rose progressively during DOCA treatment reaching 192 ± 3mmHg compared with 132 ± 2mmHg in controls after 10 weeks. Five and 10 weeks after cessation of DOCA, following 10 weeks of DOCA treatment, post-DOCA reversal of hypertension was only partial. Medial area to internal elastic lamina (IEL) radius ratio, wall to lumen ratio and intimal area to IEL radius ratio of renal arterioles increased progressively during 10 weeks of DOCA treatment with partial reversal of the increased medial area and wall to lumen ratio 5 weeks post-DOCA. Hydralazine completely prevented hypertension in DOCA rats and also largely prevented structural change.