The determination of the diastolic arterial pressure is second in clinical importance only to that of the systolic pressure. The average of the two approximates the mean blood-pressure and their difference the pulse-pressure, both of them values of considerable significance. Under favorable conditions, some notion of the systolic output of the heart can be obtained by dividing the pulse-pressure by the mean pressure, while the product of pulse-pressure by pulse-rate often gives us an idea of the absolute work done by the heart. The reason why the determination of the diastolic pressure by the general practitioner has been comparatively neglected seems to be that the simpler methods, as ordinarily practiced, give uncertain results, while the more accurate ones require a rather bulky apparatus.
THE VARIOUS METHODS
The methods for estimating the diastolic pressure may be grouped into four classes, the palpatory, the visual, the graphic and the auscultatory. All