Determinant factors for arterial hemodynamics in hypertension: theoretical insights from a computational model-based study

[+] Author and Article Information
Fuyou Liang

School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China; Collaborative Innovation Center for Advanced Ship and Deep-Sea Exploration (CISSE), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Debao Guan

School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Jordi Alastruey

School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences, King's College London, St Thomas' Hospital, London, United Kingdom

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038430 History: Received May 09, 2017; Revised November 01, 2017


Hypertension is a well-documented predictive factor for cardiovascular events. Clinical studies have extensively demonstrated the differential hemodynamic consequences of various anti-hypertensive drugs, but failed to clearly elucidate the underlying mechanisms due to the difficulty in performing a quantitative deterministic analysis based on clinical data that carry confounding information stemming from inter-patient differences and the nonlinearity of cardiovascular hemodynamics. In the present study, a multi-scale model of the cardiovascular system was developed to quantitatively investigate the relationships between hemodynamic variables and cardiovascular properties under hypertensive conditions, aiming to establish a theoretical basis for assisting in the interpretation of clinical observations or optimization of therapy. Results demonstrated that heart period, central arterial stiffness and arteriolar radius were the major determinant factors for blood pressures and flow pulsatility indices both in large arteries and in the microcirculation. These factors differed in the degree and the way in which they affect hemodynamic variables due to their differential effects on wave reflections in the vascular system. In particular, it was found that the hemodynamic effects of varying arteriolar radius were considerably influenced by the state of central arterial stiffness, and vice versa, which implied the potential of optimizing anti-hypertensive treatment by selecting proper drugs based on patient-specific cardiovascular conditions. When analyzed in relation to clinical observations, the simulated results provided mechanistic explanations for the beneficial pressure-lowering effects of vasodilators as compared to ß-blockers, and highlighted the significance of monitoring and normalizing arterial stiffness in the treatment of hypertension.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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