To the trained finger palpation of the pulse discloses two conditions, the state of the circulation and the condition of the blood vessel, and it is of the highest importance that the two be differentiated. The former is an index of the action of the heart, while the latter may be due either to local influences or may be part of a more or less widespread disturbance. Blood pressure and vascular tension depend on the relation between the volume of blood and the energy with which it is propelled on the one hand and the state of the vessel on the other hand.
The vessel wall may be thickened as a result of either functional or organic change. That is, the muscular coat may be contracted in greater or lesser degree in response to various stimuli; or one or other tunic may be the seat of hyperplasia or degenerative change.
THE EFFECTS OF SPASM IN SCLEROTIC ARTERIES. JAMA. 1906;XLVI(16):1208. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510430058005
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