The human arterial vascular tree can be described by multi-compartment models using electrical components. Being first introduced in the 1960s by Noordergraaf and Westerhof these hardware-based approaches required several simplifications. We were able to remove the restrictions using modern software simulation tools and improve overall model quality considerably. While the original Westerhof model consisted of 121 Windkessel elements, the refined model has 711 elements and gives realistic pulse waveforms of the aorta, brachial and radial arteries with realistic blood pressures. Moreover, novel insights concerning the formation of the physiological aortic-radial transfer function were gained. Its being potentially due to the coupling of many small resonant elements gives new impetus to the discussion of arterial pressure wave reflection. The individualized transfer function derived from our improved model incorporates distinct patient characteristics and can potentially be used for estimation of central blood pressure values.
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