Dominance of the Forward Compression Wave in Determining Pulsatile Components of Blood Pressure
Similarities Between Inotropic Stimulation and Essential Hypertension
Pulsatile components of blood pressure may arise from forward (ventricular generated) or backward wave travel in the arterial tree. The objective of this study was to determine the relative contributions of forward and backward waves to pulsatility. We used wave intensity and wave separation analysis to determine pulsatile components of blood pressure during inotropic and vasopressor stimulation by dobutamine and norepinephrine in normotensive subjects and compared pulse pressure components in hypertensive (mean±SD, 48.8±11.3 years; 165±26.6/99±14.2 mm Hg) and normotensive subjects (52.2±12.6 years; 120±14.2/71±8.2 mm Hg). Dobutamine (7.5 μg/kg per minute) increased the forward compression wave generated by the ventricle and increased pulse pressure from 36.8±3.7 to 59.0±3.4 mm Hg (mean±SE) but had no significant effect on mean arterial pressure or the midsystolic backward compression wave. By contrast, norepinephrine (50 ng/kg per minute) had no significant effect on the forward compression wave but increased the midsystolic backward compression wave. Despite this increase in the backward compression wave, and an increase in mean arterial pressure, norepinephrine increased central pulse pressure less than dobutamine (increases of 22.1±3.8 and 7.2±2.8 mm Hg for dobutamine and norepinephrine, respectively; P<0.02). An elevated forward wave component (mean±SE, 50.4±3.4 versus 35.2±1.8 mm Hg, in hypertensive and normotensive subjects, respectively; P<0.001) accounted for approximately two thirds of the total difference in central pulse pressures between hypertensive and normotensive subjects. Increased central pulse pressure during inotropic stimulation and in essential hypertension results primarily from the forward compression wave.
- Received June 10, 2014.
- Revision received June 23, 2014.
- Accepted July 31, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.