Aortic pulse pressure arises from the interaction of the heart, the systemic arterial system and peripheral microcirculations. The complex interaction between hemodynamics and arterial remodeling precludes the ability to experimentally ascribe changes in aortic pulse pressure to particular adaptive responses. Therefore, the purpose of the present work was to use a human systemic arterial system model to test the hypothesis that pulse pressure homeostasis can emerge from physiologic adaptation of systemic arteries to local mechanical stresses. First we assumed a systemic arterial system that had a realistic topology consisting of 121 arterial segments. Then the relationships of pulsatile blood pressures and flows in arterial segments were characterized by standard pulse transmission equations. Finally, each arterial segment was assumed to remodel to local stresses following three simple rules: 1) increases in endothelial shear stress increases radius, 2) increases in wall circumferential stress increases wall thickness, and 3) increases in wall circumferential stress decreases wall stiffness. Simulation of adaptation by iteratively calculating pulsatile hemodynamics, mechanical stresses and vascular remodeling led to a general behavior in response to mechanical perturbations: initial increases in pulse pressure led to increased arterial compliances, and decreases in pulse pressure led to decreased compliances. Consequently, vascular adaptation returned pulse pressures back towards baseline conditions. This behavior manifested when modeling physiologic adaptive responses to changes in cardiac output, changes in peripheral resistances, and changes in local arterial radii. The present work thus revealed that pulse pressure homeostasis emerges from physiologic adaptation of systemic arteries to local mechanical stresses.
- vascular adaptation
- multiscale modeling
- compliance resetting
- pulsatile hemodynamics
- Copyright © 2015, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology