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March 1969

Hemodynamic Effects of Pulsatile and Nonpulsatile Blood Flow: II. Selective Depulsation of the Aortic Arch and Brachiocephalic Trunk

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, New England Medical Center Hospitals and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. Dr. Many is a Maria Theresa Prescott fellow of the Massachusetts Heart Association.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(3):321-325. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340090097016

There is mounting experimental evidence which indicates that the arterial pulse plays a significant physiologic role. Studies comparing pulsatile and nonpulsatile flow have indicated that pulsatile flow affects the capillary circulation, the maintenance and regulation of vascular tone and blood pressure, cellular metabolism, and the function of such organs as the kidney.1 The specific role played by the pulse in the regulation of blood pressure has been well documented and indicates that it exercises its control by means of its effect on the stretch receptors within the arterial wall. Experiments have shown that arterial pressure does not act directly on the baroceptors of the aortic arch and carotid sinus, but indirectly by stretching the wall of the arteries where these receptors are located.2-4 The state of contraction and thus resistance to stretch of the arterial wall where the baroceptors are located are the primary factors affecting these receptors.