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Physiol Meas. 2005 Dec;26(6):N29-35. Epub 2005 Nov 9.

The arterial system pressure-volume loop.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Physiology and Pharmacology, Michael E DeBakey Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, M.S. 4466, College Station, 77843-4466, USA.


Although the ventricular P-V loop has become a popular tool to characterize aspects of the performance of the heart, an arterial system P-V loop has not yet been described. In principle, the volume stored in the arterial system (V) could be calculated by integrating the difference between inflow and outflow. In practice, however, flow out of the innumerable arterioles cannot be measured directly. To overcome this obstacle, it has been shown that outflow can be approximated by input pressure divided by total peripheral resistance. Recently, the classical Windkessel model was generalized with the concept of apparent arterial compliance (C(app)), the transfer function relating pressure and volume expressed in the frequency domain. The arterial system P-V loop serves as a time-domain representation of C(app). This simple technique provides the first known characterization of an arterial system P-V loop.

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