The parameters of wave intensity analysis are calculated from incremental changes in pressure and velocity. While it is clear that forward- and backward- traveling waves induce incremental changes in pressure, not all incremental changes in pressure are due to waves; changes in pressure may also be due to changes in the volume of a compliant structure. When the left ventricular ejects blood rapidly into the aorta, aortic pressure increases, in part, because of the increase in aortic volume: aortic inflow is momentarily greater than aortic outflow. There- fore, to properly quantify the effects of forward or backward waves on arterial pressure and velocity (flow), the compo- nent of the incremental change in arterial pressure that is due only to this increase in arterial volume—and not, fun- damentally, due to waves—first must be excluded. This component is the pressure generated by the filling and emptying of the reservoir, Otto Frank’s Windkessel.
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