Vessel Segment

  • Nicolaas Westerhof
  • Nikolaos Stergiopulos
  • Mark I. M. Noble


The relation between the pressure drop and flow of a uniform segment of blood vessel is shown in the Figure in the box. The relation consists of a longitudinal impedance, which is described by Womersley’s oscillatory flow theory [1, 2], and a transverse impedance [3], describing the pressure-area (or volume) relation of the segment. The combination of longitudinal and transverse impedances gives characteristic impedance and wave propagation (Appendix 4).


  1. 1.
    Jager GN, Westerhof N, Noordergraaf A. Oscillatory flow impedance in electrical analog of arterial system. Circ Res 1965;16:121–133.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Womersley JR. The mathematical analysis of the arterial circulation in a state of oscillatory motion. 1957, Wright Air Dev. Center, Tech Report WADC-TR-56-614.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Westerhof N, Noordergraaf A. Arterial viscoelasticity. A generalized model. J Biomech 1970;3:357–379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer US 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolaas Westerhof
    • 1
  • Nikolaos Stergiopulos
    • 2
  • Mark I. M. Noble
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology and Pulmonology ICaR-VUVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Laboratory of Hemodynamics and Cardiovascular TechnologySwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Cardiovascular MedicineAberdeen UniversityAberdeenScotland

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