A method for determining segmental resistances in the microcirculation from pressure-flow measurements.
On the basis of an electrical analog, open circuit impedance functions were used to analyze the microcirculation. No specific structure need be assumed except a two-port, two-terminal network in which the major artery and vein supplying the tissue represent the input port and the two ends of the microvessel under study are the output port. The open circuit measurements were made by occluding microvessels in the exteriorized omentum of anesthetized rabbits. The pressure upstream and downstream to the occlusion defines the source pressure of a Thévenin's equivalent circuit. The equivalent resistance value was calculated by plotting the flow through a given microvessel against the pressure developed during a gradual occlusion. The changes in pressure vs. the changes in flow during a progressive occlusion were found to be linearly related. The Thévenin's equivalent resistance was maximum downstream to an occluded artery and upstream to the occluded vein. Within the capillary network, source pressures consistently were within a narrow range. Topically applied norepinephrine resulted in marked changes in source resistance and no changes in source pressures. Threshold doses of norepinephrine given intravenously resulted in changes in source pressures, but minimal changes in source resistance, even though a substantial change in vascular resistance was indicated when calculated on the basis of arterial pressure minus micropressure divided by microvessel flow. The present method defines the functional characteristics of the distributing vessels in terms of two pressures and two equivalent resistances and is relatively easy to perform. The technique can be used to determine the vascular components involved in the response to particular stimuli.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association