Wave intensity in the ascending aorta: effects of arterial occlusion

J Biomech. 2005 Apr;38(4):647-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.05.039.


We examine the effects of arterial occlusion on the pressure, velocity and the reflected waves in the ascending aorta using wave intensity analysis. In 11 anaesthetised, open-chested dogs, snares were used to produce total arterial occlusion at 4 sites: the upper descending aorta at the level of the aortic valve (thoracic); the lower thoracic aorta at the level of the diaphragm (diaphragm); the abdominal aorta between the renal arteries (abdominal) and the left iliac artery, 2 cm downstream from the aorta iliac bifurcation (iliac). Pressure and flow in the ascending aorta were measured, and data were collected before and during the occlusion. During thoracic and diaphragm occlusions a significant increase in mean aortic pressure (46% and 23%) and in wave speed (25% and 10%) was observed, while mean flow rate decreased significantly (23% and 17%). Also, the reflected compression wave arrived significantly earlier (45% and 15%) and its peak intensity was significantly greater (257% and 125%), all compared with control. Aortic occlusion distal to the renal arteries, however, caused an indiscernible change in the pressure and velocity waveforms, and in the intensities and timing of the waves in the forward and backward directions. The measured pressure and velocity waveforms are the result of the interaction between the heart and the arterial system. The separated pressure, velocity and wave intensity are required to provide information about arterial hemodynamic such as the timing and magnitude of the forward and backward waves. The net wave intensity is simpler to calculate but provides information only about the predominant direction of the waves and can be misleading when forward and backward waves of comparable magnitudes are present simultaneously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / physiology*
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure
  • Dogs
  • Hemorheology
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Oscillometry