Dispersion and Attenuation of Small Artificial Pressure Waves in the Canine Aorta
A method was developed to determine the elastic behavior of large blood vessels in terms of their transmission characteristics for small sinusoidal pressure signals. The method is new insofar as it utilizes transient signals of the form of finite trains of sine waves that are superimposed on the naturally occurring pressure fluctuations and are generated by an electrically driven impactor or by a pump. Its application to the thoracic aortas of 18 mature mongrel dogs anesthetized with pentobarbital has shown that dispersion and attenuation data for frequencies between 40 and 200 cps can be obtained without requiring either Fourier transform computations or resolution of reflection interference. For the frequency range considered, the descending aorta is only mildly dispersive but exhibits strong attenuation that must be attributed primarily to dissipative mechanisms in the vessel wall. At normal blood pressure levels, the wave speed during diastole can have a value between 4 and 6 m/sec. For all frequencies tested the amplitude ratio of the waves exhibits the same exponential decay pattern with distance measured in wavelengths. A marked increase in wave speed observed from diastole to systole can be associated with an increase in mean flow and with a stiffening of the aortic wall due to the rise in pressure. This phenomenon implies that the aortas of anesthetized dogs should exhibit nonlinear properties with respect to large amplitude pulse waves such as those generated by the heart.
- elastic behavior of blood vessels
- dissipative mechanisms
- nonlinear properties of aorta
- phase velocity
- wave generator
- wave transmission characteristics
- catheter-tip manometer
- non-axisymmetric waves
- Accepted August 6, 1968.
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.