Evaluation of an index of peripheral vascular resistance in human subjects

J. Timothy Walsh, Luisa Gregorini, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on evidence in animal studies, an index of resistance in man has been evaluated. In 10 human subjects, ranging in age from 31 to 60 years, direct brachial arterial pressure was measured, and a computer program using linear regression calculated the index of resistance from the slope of the logarithm of the pressure versus time during the second half of diastole. Resistance was independently calculated from 20-s averages of pressure and cardiac output obtained by thermodilution. Resistance was varied by infusion of phenylephrine and nitroprusside. The values of the index of resistance were compared with independently calculated resistance by linear regression and correlation. The index of resistance was variably correlated with independently calculated resistance. However, when the comparison was limited to points with a model correlation coefficient > 0.98 (i.e. a good fit of a straight line to the logarithm of pressure versus time), the correlation of the index of resistance with calculated resistance approached or exceeded 0.9 in eight of 10 subjects. In the two subjects showing poor correlation of the index with calculated resistance, estimated compliance from the same model was much lower than in the other subjects. In the same two subjects pressure dependence of estimated compliance was much higher than in the other subjects, suggesting the presence of significant atherosclerosis. We concluded that the diastolic decay of pressure may be used to calculate a useful index of resistance, provided that a single exponential decay fits the observed diastolic waveform well, and arterial compliance is not significantly reduced by atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-629
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1985


  • Arterial compliance
  • Blood pressure
  • Peripheral resistance
  • Windkessel model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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