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Blood Flow through body tissues, or tissue perfusion, is involved in:

1) delivery of oxygen and nutrients to, and removal of wastes from, tissue cells.
2) gas exchange in the lungs
3) absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract
4) urine formation in the kidneys
The rate of blood flow to each tissue and organ is almost exactly the right amount to
provide for proper function-no more, no less.
When the body is at rest:
1) brain receives 13% of total blood flow
2) heart about 4%
4) kidneys about 20%
5) abdominal organs 24%
6) skeletal muscles about 20%; increases during exercise
Velocity of blood: velocity of blood is inversely related to the cross sectional are of blood
vessels to be filled. (small C/S= faster velocity)
In the aorta cross-sectional are is 2.5 cm2, and velocity is approx. 45 cm/sec.
(small C/S=faster velocity)
in all the capillaries (at the same time), the C/S area is 4500 cm2, and velocity is
less than 0.03 cm/sec. (large C/S=slower velocity)
Slow velocity in capillaries is beneficial in order to allow adequate time for
exchange between the blood and tissue cells. Velocity speeds up as it enters the
venous system on its way to the heart because the total cross-sectional are
Autoregulation: the automatic adjustment of blood flow to each tissue in proportion to
the tissue's requirements at any instant.
Oxygen is the principle stimulus for autoregulation. Low oxygen in cells (in
immediate area) will produce and release vasodilator or substances to decrease
resistance and increase blood flow to capillaries.
metabolic control: Nitric acid (carried by hemoglobin), K+, H+, adenosine and
lactic acid produce a local vasodilation of arterioles & relaxation of precapillary
sphincters. (NO is very brief)
Myogenic control: vascular smooth muscle responds to stretch due to increased
blood pressure; muscle will counter by constricting, and vice versa
increased blood flow and increased oxygen very important for meeting nutritional
demands in muscles (skeletal blood flow might increase up to 10x)
Skeletal Muscles:
while resting blood flow is about 1L/min with approx. 25% of capillaries open,
with increased metabolic activity it may increased by 10x. (increased activity
leads to hyperemia)

muscle auto-regulation occurs most commonly as a result of decreased oxygen

and/or increased carbon dioxide and lactic acid
vasomotor center in a long term condition will divert blood from reservoir until
increased demand is met

This system in the brain is the most precise in the body
auto-reg. is controlled not by decreased oxygen (only) but by increased carbon
dioxide and increased pH (increased acidity)
increased neuronal firing due to increased use of a specific region of the brain will
also increase blood supply to that area
myogenic respons:
1) with decreased systemic blood pressure, vasodilation of brain arterioles will
result. With increased systemic blood pressure, vasoconstriction of brain arterioles
will result
2) protects smaller vessels in brain and will keep blood flow constant, 750 ml/min
Blood flow through the skin:
1) supplies the nutrients to the cells
2) aids in body temperature regulation
3) provides a blood reservoir
supplying nutrients to cells: primary function is to respond to oxygen needs in
skin and meet their demand
body temperature regulation:
1) by releasing heat via superficial capillary beds. Due to the extensive venous
plexus, blood flow can vary from 500 ml/min to 1900 ml/min, as a direct result of
body temperature differences
2) temp. controls are found in the hypothalamus: with increase in body temp.
hypothalamus will cause an increase in blood flow through "true" capillaries of the
skin, and with a decrease in body temp. blood will flow only through vascular
shunts (throughfare and metarterials), and the true capillaries will close.
blood reservoir: 60% of blood is found in the venous system at any time
less pressure is needed to move blood through the lungs
arteries in pulmonary circulation have very thin walls with large lumens
auto-reg. decrease in oxygen will lead to vasoconstriction and increase in oxygen
will cause vasodilation (like the brain but opposite to other tissues) The blood
will bypass areas of congestion and go to other areas where there are
functional alveoli for efficiency.

blood flow stops when ventricles contract, because of cardiac vessel compression
and aortic semilunar valves close over the coronary artery openings. Blood flow
resumes with ventricular relaxation and valves moving out of the way
at the heart resting rate, the heart pumps approximately 250 ml/min; strenuous
exercising may cause the heart to pump up to 750 ml/min
heart tissue uses 65% of oxygen delivered, other body tissues use only 25%
there will be dilation of coronary vessels as a result of increased carbon dioxide,
hydrogen ions, or decreased oxygen

Capillary Dynamics (microcirculation):

blood flow is not continuous through capillaries but rather intermittent (irregular
intervals) due to contraction and relaxation of pre-capillary sphincters (smooth
pre-capillary sphincters are found around the entrance of the vascular shunts
(metarteriole and throughfare channel)
vasomotion is 5-10x/min, due to auto-regulation controls
exchange of respiratory gases and nutrients:
oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients and metabolic wastes are exchanged by
diffusion, and movements is always from higher concentration gradient to a lower
concentration gradient; exchange is between capillaries-> interstitial -> cells
diffusion take place either through the capillary pores or through the lipid layer
capillaries differ in their leakiness (from fenestrated to blood brain barrier types)
fluid movement:
arterioles-> capillaries-> venules; solutes generally leave at arteriole end and are
reabsorbed at venous end of the capillary
whether fluid leaves or enters depends on the difference in gradients and
hydrostatic & osmotic pressure.
Hydrostatic pressure (HP) "pushes away"- the force exerted by a fluid pressing against
a wall
capillary hydrostatic pressure (HPc)
--capillary blood (fluid) pressure-pressure exerted by blood on the capillary
--capillary hydrostatic pressure tends to move fluid out through capillary walls
at arterial end (35mmHg). Lower pressure at venous end (17mmHg)
--if net hydrostatic pressure is higher than opposing net pressure, the overall
fluid/solutes will move out of capillary
interstitial hydrostatic pressure (HPi)
this pressure pushes fluid out of the interstitial space into the capillary

due to very small amount of fluid solution in interstitium (due to lymphatic

drainage) HPi is 0mmHg at both venous and arterial ends

Osmotic pressure (OP): "pulls toward"

is principally due to the large amount of solutes (i.e. non-diffusible molecules,
mostly plasma proteins); will move fluid in by osmosis
capillary osmotic pressure (OPc)
-- plasma proteins in the blood will create an osmotic pressure of about 26mmHg
within the capillary blood. This keeps fluid in the capillary
interstitial osmotic pressure (OPi)
interstitial fluid has very few proteins, so it will only develop an osmotic pressure
of aprox. 1mmHg, this keeps fluid in the interstitial area
both pressures will be constant, along capillary. Net osmotic pressure brings fluid
into capillary at about 25mmHg. If hydrostatic pressure is greater than osmotic
pressure in the capillary, fluid will leave and vice versa. Fluid not returned to the
capillary will be picked up by the lymphatic system.
Net filtration pressure (NFP)
the net gain or loss of fluid from the blood, considering all of the forces acting on
NFP can be calculated using different methods
NFP=(HPc-Opc)-(HPl-OPl) NFP=(HPc-HPi)-(OPc-OPi)-if NPF positive, fluid is leaving capillary. If NPF
negative, fluid is entering capillary
Capillary Dynamics Worksheet
a. Capillary hydrostatic pressure (HPc)=> pushes fluid out of capillary
b. Interstitial fluid hydrostatic pressure (HPif)=>pushes fluid into capillary
c. Capillary osmotic pressure (OPc)=>pulls fluid into the capillary
d. Interstitial fluid osmotic pressure (Opif)=> pulls fluid out of the capillary