A postscript to Circulation of the blood: men and ideas.
Since 1964, when Fishman and Richards published Circulation of the Blood: Men and Ideas, Guyton's model of the circulation, in which mean circulatory pressure serves as the upstream pressure for venous return, has been extended, and the concept of vascular smooth muscle tone acting like the pressure surrounding a Starling resistor has been postulated. According to this scheme, the positive zero flow intercepts of rapidly determined arterial pressure-flow curves are the effective downstream pressures for arterial flow to different tissues. The arterioles, like Starling resistors, determine the downstream pressures and are followed by abrupt pressure drops, or "waterfalls." Capillary pressures are closely linked to those of the venules into which they flow. Capillary-venular pressures are the upstream pressures for venous return. In exercising muscles, reduced arteriolar tone lowers arteriolar pressure and increases arterial flow. This, in turn, raises capillary-venular pressure and increases venous flow. The arteriolar-capillary waterfall is decreased or eliminated. Total blood flow is increased by diversion of blood from tissues with slow venous drainage to muscles with fast venous drainage (low resistance X compliance). The heart pumps away the increased venous return by shifting to a new ventricular function curve.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association