Power dissipation as a measure of peripheral resistance in vascular networks.
Peripheral resistance was examined in the microcirculation of the rat cremaster muscle using a network-conserved parameter, power dissipation. Previous studies of peripheral resistance used network-sensitive parameters, and their interpretation is limited by tacit assumptions about the structure of the peripheral vasculature. Power dissipation is directly linked to the resistive process, providing a measure of resistance based on the actual hemodynamics of the network. The dissipation parameter was quantified with the usual vascular parameters of velocity and vessel segment length; 991 segment lengths were measured in 12 normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats and 16 spontaneously hypertensive rats. Arterial power dissipation was significantly elevated over a wide range of vessel segments; blood flow ranged from 0.08 to 80 nl/sec. Since the largest vessels showed the greatest power dissipation, the organ resistance elevation seen in hypertension in the cremaster apparently is mediated by the larger vessels in the high flow range. Vessel segment length and number of dissipative vessels were unchanged. The increase in power dissipation was due to a network-averaged reduction in mean vessel diameter. Power dissipation also increased significantly in the fastest flowing venous microvessels (greater than 25 nl/sec), also due to a reduction in vessel segment diameter.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association