Mean blood pressure falls steadily through the arterial tree, reflecting loss of fluid energy to resistance. This discussion shows that it would be incorrect to infer the ventricular systolic pressure from a measurement of systolic pressure in a peripheral artery. Transmission-reflexion phenomenon and the compliance of the particular blood vessel that the blood is moving through are responsible for altering the shape and magnitude of the pulse wave.
Velocity of the pulse wave at different sites in the circulation has been used in the past as a diagnostic tool to non-invasively investigate blood vessel stiffness, aging, and disease.
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