Unformatted text preview: Arteries - these vessels serve as a conduit for the low resistance flow of blood and because of their elasticity they act as a pressure reservoir. Pressure reservoir - the driving force for the continued flow of blood during ventricular diastole is provided by the elastic properties of the arteries. The arterial walls are composed of smooth muscle and connective tissue consisting of collagen (tensile strength) and elastin (elasticity) (Figure 10-5). The elastin enables the arteries to expand and hold the excess blood. The expansion stores the pressure imparted by cardiac contraction during ventricular systole (Figure 10-6). When the heart relaxes during ventricular diastole the arterial walls recoil and push the excess blood through the circulation. These variations in volume lead to variations in arterial blood pressure that are referred to as systolic and diastolic pressures (Figure 10-7). pulse pressure - pressure difference between systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. (Figure 10-7). ...
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- Fall '08