In this paper, we assess the validity of two alternative tube-load models for describing the relationship between central aortic and peripheral arterial blood pressure (BP) waveforms in humans. In particular, a single-tube (1-TL) model and a serially connected two-tube (2-TL) model, both terminated with a Windkessel load, are considered as candidate representations of central aortic-peripheral arterial path. Using the central aortic, radial and femoral BP waveform data collected from eight human subjects undergoing coronary artery bypass graft with cardiopulmonary bypass procedure, the fidelity of the tube-load models was quantified and compared with each other. Both models could fit the central aortic-radial and central aortic-femoral BP waveform pairs effectively. Specifically, the models could estimate pulse travel time (PTT) accurately, and the model-derived frequency response was also close to the empirical transfer function estimate obtained directly from the central aortic and peripheral BP waveform data. However, 2-TL model was consistently superior to 1-TL model with statistical significance as far as the accuracy of the central aortic BP waveform was concerned. Indeed, the average waveform RMSE was 2.52 mmHg versus 3.24 mmHg for 2-TL and 1-TL models, respectively (p < 0.05); the r2 value between measured and estimated central aortic BP waveforms was 0.96 and 0.93 for 2-TL and 1-TL models, respectively (p < 0.05). We concluded that the tube-load models considered in this paper are valid representations that can accurately reproduce central aortic-radial/femoral BP waveform relationships in humans, although the 2-TL model is preferred if an accurate central aortic BP waveform is highly desired.

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