Distributed Models and Tube Models
The Windkessel models give an overall, lumped description of the arterial tree, but do not permit studies on pressure and flow wave propagation in the arterial tree. Modeling wave propagation requires the use of tube models or distributed models that account for arterial geometry, such as the one shown in the Figure in the box. The basic idea of distributed models is to break up the arterial tree into small segments, whose geometry and mechanical properties are known. The wave transmission characteristics of each arterial segment can be described using Womersley’s oscillatory flow theory (Chap. 8) or electrical transmission line theory (Appendix 3).