Measurement of Aortic Input Impedance in Rats

Am J Physiol. 1994 Nov;267(5 Pt 2):H1907-15. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.1994.267.5.H1907.


Measurement of aortic input impedance in the rat is complicated by a high basal heart rate but is possible if appropriate compensation is made for frequency-dependent errors in modulus and phase resulting from analog filters in the equipment and from nonalignment of pressure and flow sensors. Because input impedance is a complex quantity, accurate values for both phase and modulus are required before meaningful interpretation of the data can be made. We measured aortic pressure and electromagnetic ascending aortic blood flow in mature, ether-anesthetized, open-chest male Wistar rats. Pressure and flow waveforms were averaged in the time domain and converted to Fourier series. Flow moduli were corrected for the measured frequency response of the flowmeter. Phase spectra were corrected by the classic frequency-domain and two new time-domain methods. Compensation for instrumentation errors was assessed at two different flowmeter filter settings in five animals. Reproducibility, variability, and the effects of vasoconstriction were assessed in 43 animals. Three methods of estimating characteristic impedance from the impedance spectra were evaluated and found to produce comparable results at baseline and following pharmacological elevation of blood pressure with graded methoxamine infusion. Physiologically equivalent values for phase, as assessed by comparing oscillatory power calculated from the impedance spectra, were obtained with each of the phase-correction techniques. The new time-domain methods facilitate the assessment of aortic input impedance in this small animal model because they do not require measurement of the spatial separation between pressure and flow transducers and pulse wave velocity in the proximal aorta.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Aorta / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Male
  • Methoxamine / pharmacology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Rheology
  • Time Factors
  • Vasoconstriction


  • Methoxamine