Observations at the microcirculatory level have revealed that (a) the pressure pulse reaches the smallest vessel, and (b) the pulse wave velocity alters from a value in the order of meters/second in large arteries to a value in the order of centimeters/second in the microvessels. We investigate, herein, whether these experimental findings are consonant with linear pulse wave transmission theory in a branching system of vessels. Our computations, utilizing available data, show that this is indeed the case. For low frequency (1 Hz), cumulative attenuation is such that about one-third of the pulse, originating at the heart, reaches the capillary. A 10-Hz pulse, however, is virtually completely attenuated by the time the cpaillary is reached. Transmission time for a pulse, from heart to capillary, is also frequency dependent, with higher frequencies propagating more rapidly. Vasoconstriction, at the arteriolar level in the absence of reflection, can also strongly attenuate the pulse remnant at that site.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology