In hemodynamic studies, it usually is much more important to know the total quantity of blood that can be stored in a given portion of the circulation for each millimeter of mercury pressure rise than to know the distensibilities of the
individual vessels. This value is called the compliance or capacitance of the respective vascular bed; that is,
Increase in volume
Vascular compliance =-;-
Compliance and distensibility are quite different. A highly distensible vessel that has a slight volume may have far less compliance than a much less distensible vessel that has a large volume because compliance is equal to distensibility times volume.
The compliance of a systemic vein is about 24 times that of its corresponding artery because it is about 8 times as distensible and it has a volume about 3 times as great (8 x 3 = 24).
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.