The Mean Arterial Pressure


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The graph shows the components of blood pressure throughout the blood vessels, including systolic, diastolic, mean arterial, and pulse pressures.

Source: OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology

The Mean Arterial Pressure (OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology)

Mean arterial pressure (MAP) represents the “average” pressure of blood in the arteries, that is, the average force driving blood into vessels that serve the tissues. Mean is a statistical concept and is calculated by taking the sum of the values divided by the number of values. Although complicated to measure directly and complicated to calculate, MAP can be approximated by adding the diastolic pressure to one-third of the pulse pressure or systolic pressure minus the diastolic pressure:

In the figure above, this value is approximately 80 + (120 − 80) / 3, or 93.33. Normally, the MAP falls within the range of 70–110 mm Hg. If the value falls below 60 mm Hg for an extended time, blood pressure will not be high enough to ensure circulation to and through the tissues, which results in ischemia, or insufficient blood flow. A condition called hypoxia, inadequate oxygenation of tissues, commonly accompanies ischemia. The term hypoxemia refers to low levels of oxygen in systemic arterial blood. Neurons are especially sensitive to hypoxia and may die or be damaged if blood flow and oxygen supplies are not quickly restored.


Betts, J. G., Young, K. A., Wise, J. A., Johnson, E., Poe, B., Kruse, D. H., … DeSaix, P. (n.d.). Anatomy and Physiology. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at:



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Date Published: January 28, 2019 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Daniel Morales-Cano, Maria Callejo, Bianca Barreira, Gema Mondejar-Parreño, Sergio Esquivel-Ruiz, Sonia Ramos, María Ángeles Martín, Angel Cogolludo, Laura Moreno, Francisco Perez-Vizcaino, Michael Bader. Abstract: Diabetes is a very strong predictor of chronic systemic vascular diseases and acute cardiovascular events. Recently, associations between metabolic … Continue reading