Our hearts are peristaltic pumps, which has a periodic compression and expansion. The head developed can be taken as blood pressure.

There are situation when the blood pressure is normal while the pulse rate is high. What is the physical meaning of this?

Does it mean?

  • Low flow rate per contraction?
  • more pressure loss(an indication of blood vessel blockage)?
  • contraction rate of heart muscle is low?

1 Answer 1


high pulse rate + low pressure means low pumping efficiency of the heart. this can be caused by:

  • leaking valves, especially the main aortic valve, due to disease or calcification;
  • low blood volume, due to bleedout as in bodily injury or an aneurysm rupture;
  • incomplete contraction of the heart muscle due to a breakage or damage in the nerves which carry the firing impulse around the heart, as in a heart attack;
  • cardiac nerve misfire, as in fibrillation or a fault in the nerve cluster that generates the cardiac trigger signal;
  • dead tissue in the heart muscle, as caused by a heart attack;
  • a perforation between the ventricles, as in a congenital heart defect;
  • breakdown of the elastic component of the heart tissue, causing ballooning of the heart, as in congestive heart failure;
  • severe relaxation of the muscular walls of the arteries in the body.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Plus "fibrillation", where the various parts of the heart are not correctly synchronised with each other and the resultant overall pumping effect is small. Blood vessel blockage (or more realistically, partial blockage and/or stiffening of the artery walls) is more likely to cause high blood pressure. $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Sep 10, 2018 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ Another mechanism. High pulse rate and low pressure also occurs when there isn't enough blood (hypovolemia). Blood loss often causes hypovolemia. $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2018 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ thanks, answer edited to include low blood volume and fibrillation $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2018 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ What is wrong with the turbo machinery? What size is it? Which manufacturer? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 11, 2018 at 10:52
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike My BP is normal(110/65) but pulse is always around 90+, even at rest. As an engineer had to understand the pump issue! $\endgroup$ Sep 11, 2018 at 10:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.