Vessel Wall Compliance and Transient Fluid Movement

  • Perry L. BlackshearJr.
  • Gertrude L. Blackshear
  • Paul F. Emerson
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 166)


Fluid movement across arterial walls in the steady state is governed by the net chemical potential difference across the endothelial layer resistance, or, equally by the hydrostatic pressure difference across the resistance of the balance of the wall. This latter resistance is influenced by the size and spacing of the pores in the endothelial layer and the anisotropic structure of the intima. Hydrostatic pressure in the interstitium of the artery wall in the steady state is difficult to measure but its gradient is thought to be proportional to the flow per unit area according to Darcy’s law. Elsewhere in this volume, Lever (1988) shows that the interstitial fluid volume of the outer layers of a canine carotid artery increases with inflation pressure, if the endothelial layer is missing, but does not when it is intact. Similar results are reported for the canine descending thoracic aorta by Emerson, (1988). At conditions where the permeability to macromolecules of the endothelial layer is elevated, as is the case in a region of rapid cell turnover, Larson and Sheridan (1982), Fry (1987), Weinbaum et al. (1985), Vargas (1988) and Schwartz et al. (1975), the local hydraulic conductivity could be sufficiently elevated so that wall hydration would increase locally with increasing inflation pressure. During an inflation pressure transient the velocity of water movement from the outer layers of an artery wall toward the endothelial layer can produce local blistering and desquamation of the endothelial layer, Blackshear et al. (1983), and thus play a role in disturbing further an already disturbed endothelium.


Hydraulic Conductivity Artery Wall Inflation Pressure Pressure Transient Endothelial Layer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Perry L. BlackshearJr.
    • 1
  • Gertrude L. Blackshear
    • 2
  • Paul F. Emerson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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