+2 votes
in Medical Academics Questions by Junior Resident (2.0k points)
A frequently asked question but never understood properly.

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5 Answers

+1 vote
by Pre-med (240 points)
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Windkessel effect  refers to the compliance of the aorta with the arterial pressure wave, produced by the ejection volume from the left ventricle (LV). The measured systolic arterial blood pressure is largely a function of this. With atherosclerosis, the aorta stiffens and cannot absorb the pressure wave by expanding a bit. The result is that the pressure wave is less damped and carries though to the peripheral arteries where it manifests as elevated systolic blood pressure. This condition can also lead to LV enlargement and various degrees of heart failure due to increased arterial resistance. This will feed back to the RV. The most common cause of RV failure is LV failure. The failing heart will also be reflected in a rising diastolic arterial blood pressure.
+1 vote
by Doctor of Medicine (5.6k points)
Large arteries like aorta and its branches have high elasticity. When blood is pumped into these vessels by heart during systole, the vessel expand to accomodate some excess blood temporarily. During diastole, when heart is not pumping, their elastic walls recoil and blood in them is propelled forward. These vessels are called windkessel vessel.


1. During ventricular diastole, although ventricular pressure falls very low, aorta is able to maintain diastole BP of 80mmHg.

2. During ventricular systole, it prevents too much rise in pressure

3. Atherosclerosis in old age leads to loss of windkessel effect causing systolic hypertension
+2 votes
by Intern (1.0k points)
Windkessel effect , used in medicine  is a term, to account for the shape of the arterial blood pressure waveform in terms of the interaction between the stroke volume and the compliance of the aorta and large elastic arteries (Windkessel vessels). Windkessel  means in english is  'air chamber',but is generally taken to imply an elastic reservoir
+1 vote
Windkessel effect is the accommodative response of the aorta to cardiac systole and diastole in maintaining systemic circulation. In systole, the blood from the left  ventricle is received and propelled by the aorta on account of its inherent elasticity and during diastole, the systemic circulation is maintained by the pre-created energy in the aorta.
0 votes
Windkessel effect: in short aorta act as heart , during diastole.

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