Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2002

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Arthur B. Ritter

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol

Third Advisor

Peter Engler


A quantitative understanding of the changes in coronary, pulmonary and systemic hemodynamic variables and their effects on the regulation mechanism is important to the better postoperative management of patients with impaired cardiac function. The arterial baroreflex plays a key role in blood pressure homeostasis, and its impairment may result in exaggerated blood pressure fluctuations and an increased risk of cardiovascular morbid events.

The objective of this work was to construct a mathematical model of the cardiovascular system, which will allow us to simulate the effects of the baroreceptor reflex regulation on sudden changes in blood pressure, caused by sudden changes in one or more hemodynamic parameters. These parameters include heart rate, peripheral resistance and ventricular contractility. A comprehensive model of the baroreflexfeedback mechanism regulating the heart rate, the contractility of the ventricle and the peripheral vascular resistance is presented. The model used is a combination of several models, which have been reported in literature, along with our own modifications. The important feature of the model is that it is dynamic in nature and thus it is helpful in real time analysis. The model is also useful to conceptualize the problem and test relationships, helping researchers frame hypotheses and design experiments.



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