Model studies of the effects of the thoracic pressure on the circulation

Rafael Beyar, Yaakov Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two models of the cardiovascular system subjected to changes in intrathoracic pressure (ITP) are used to simulate the response to normal and positive pressure ventilation and the Mueller maneuver. The first model, based on our earlier model for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and cardiac assist by ITP variations, is based on lumped parameter representation of the cardiovascular system with two ventricles which function based on the time-varying elastance concept using their transmural pressures as the load. The ITP is assumed to be equally distributed in the thoracic cavity and equally affecting all cardiovascular structures within the chest. The model shows that a decrease in ITP is associated with an initial decrease in aortic pressure and flow and an increase in left ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes. A transient decrease in left ventricular volume which was suggested to occur by a few studies cannot be predicted based on this model. Such a decrease in left ventricular volume can be only predicted when a pericardial constraint is included, as done in the second model. Positive pressure interventions are associated with decreased heart volumes and cardiac output which is primarily a "preload" effect. In general the model reasonably predicts the hemodynamics as a function of the ITP changes and may be used as a tool to investigate the response of the cardiovascular system to various ITP interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-383
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 1987


  • Cardiovascular
  • Intrathoracic pressure
  • Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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