To test whether structural alterations observed in the mesenteric vasculature of Wistar-Kyoto spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were dependent on the presence of hypertension, male SHR and Wistar-Kyoto normotensive (WKY) rats were treated in utero and postnatally with hydralazine up to 28 weeks of age. Treated SHR, WKY, and untreated WKY rats had comparable blood pressures that were less than those of untreated SHR. Treatment altered the dimensions of the superior mesenteric, intermediate-sized, and small arteries of the mesenteric vasculature. In the case of the superior mesenteric artery and intermediate vessels, hydralazine treatment increased the lumen and medial cross-sectional areas of the arteries in WKY rats and slightly decreased both parameters in SHR. Within the small arteries, treatment significantly increased the lumen size in SHR but not WKY rats and had no significant effect on the media of the vessels. Despite the above alterations, the media-to-lumen cross-sectional area ratios remained significantly elevated in SHR over WKY rats in both the treated and control groups of animals within all classes of arteries. The results indicate that there is an inherent increase in the quantity of media surrounding the arteries of SHR when compared with WKY rats that cannot be abolished by normalizing the blood pressure in utero and postnatally with hydralazine treatment. In SHR, such changes persist not only in arteries that exhibit an increase in the media-to-lumen ratio before hypertension but also in the superior mesenteric artery in which an increase in the ratio occurs after hypertension development.