The Otto Frank’s arterial Windkessel consists of a peripheral resistance, the summed resistance of all small arteries, arterioles and capillaries, and a total arterial compliance the summed compliances of all arteries, mainly the aorta and conduit arteries. Later, after input impedance data became available, the model was extended to the three-element Windkessel by addition of the aortic characteristic impedance. The Windkessel model can help us to understand how the arterial system functions, it can be used as a realistic load in isolated heart studies, it can be used in modeling, and it can form the basis for estimating arterial system parameters. The Windkessel is a ‘lumped model’ and does not take in account pressure and flow waves.
KeywordsTwo-element Windkessel Three-element Windkessel Exponential aortic pressure decay Methods to derive total arterial compliance Hypertension Age
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