Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 385–404 | Cite as

Identification of canine coronary resistance and intramyocardial compliance on the basis of the waterfall model

  • Roberto Burattini
  • Pieter Sipkema
  • Gerard A. van Huis
  • Nico Westerhof


This study was performed to elucidate the effects of cardiac contraction on coronary pressure-flow relations. On the basis of the waterfall mechanism, a lumped model of the coronary arterial system is presented consisting of a proximal (epicardial) compliance, a coronary resistance, and an intramyocardial compliance. A “back”-pressure, assumed to be proportional (constant k) to left ventricular pressure, impedes flow. From steady-state measurements of circumflex coronary artery flow and inflow pressure, together with left ventricular pressure, the values of the three model parameters and the constant k have been estimated. In the control condition proximal compliance is found to be 1.7×10−12 m4s2kg−1, intramyocardial compliance 110×10−12m4s2kg−1, and resistance 7.5×109kgm−4s−1. The proportionality constant k is close to unity. Effects of changes in left ventricular pressure and inflow pressure and the effect of vasoactive drugs on the parameters are also investigated. Changes in coronary resistance are always opposite to changes in intramyocardial compliance. Sensitivity analysis showed that epicardial compliance plays its major role during isovolumic contraction and relaxation; resistance plays a role throughout the cardiac cycle but is more important in diastole than in systole, whereas intramyocardial compliance plays a role in systole and in early diastole.


Waterfall Intramyocardial compliance Coronary resistance Coronary pressure-flow relation 


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Copyright information

© Pergamon Press Ltd. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Burattini
    • 1
  • Pieter Sipkema
    • 1
  • Gerard A. van Huis
    • 1
  • Nico Westerhof
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for PhysiologyFree University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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