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Published August 11, 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Aortic Wave Dynamics and Its Influence on Left Ventricular Workload


The pumping mechanism of the heart is pulsatile, so the heart generates pulsatile flow that enters into the compliant aorta in the form of pressure and flow waves. We hypothesized that there exists a specific heart rate at which the external left ventricular (LV) power is minimized. To test this hypothesis, we used a computational model to explore the effects of heart rate (HR) and aortic rigidity on left ventricular (LV) power requirement. While both mean and pulsatile parts of the pressure play an important role in LV power requirement elevation, at higher rigidities the effect of pulsatility becomes more dominant. For any given aortic rigidity, there exists an optimum HR that minimizes the LV power requirement at a given cardiac output. The optimum HR shifts to higher values as the aorta becomes more rigid. To conclude, there is an optimum condition for aortic waves that minimizes the LV pulsatile load and consequently the total LV workload.

Additional Information

© 2011 Pahlevan, Gharib. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received March 30, 2011; Accepted July 6, 2011; Published August 11, 2011. Editor: Aravinthan Samuel, Harvard University, United States of America. This research effort has been funded by unrestricted (research topic or publication approval) gift funds from Fletcher Jones foundation, Medtronic Corp, and Charyk Family foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We are grateful to Dr. Fazle Hussain for productive discussion. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: NMP MG. Performed the experiments: NMP MG. Analyzed the data: NMP MG. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: NMP MG. Wrote the paper: NMP MG.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023