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It is the study of movement of blood through circulatory system.

Here we deal with the

Mean volume of blood flow

Hagen Poiseuille equation

Windkessel effect Velocity of blood flow Circulation time Autoregulation

Mean volume of blood

The volume of blood which flows into the region of the circulatory system in a given unit of time . It is the product of mean velocity & cross sectional area of the vascular bed.

ie, Q = V * A

Types of blood flow

Types of blood flow

Streamline flow: Silent flow Blood travels only in a single direction. Blood flows in layers. The layer of blood that lies in close

Turbulent flow: Noisy flow Blood flows in all direction. When the velocity of BF above critical level the flow becomes turbulent. When passes by obstruction, rough surface, or takes sharp turn eddy current developes . The critical velocity at which the flow becomes turbulent is known as Reynolds number. If the Reynolds number is above 200to400, there is tendency for turbulence.

contact with BV does not . The next layer will have low momentum. The next layer have still lower momentum. Thus the momentum increases towards the center with greatest momentum in the center layer which moves a longer distance. This is called Parabolic effect for velocity of blood flow. Occurs only at velocities up to a critical level.

The formula for determining Reynolds number :

NR = PDV ,

NR = Reynolds number P = density of the blood D = Diameter of the vessel V = velocity of the flow

= viscosity of the blood

Factors maintaining volume of blood flow

1) Pressure gradient
2) Resistance to blood flow (peripheral resistance) 3) Viscosity of blood flow 4) Diameter of blood vessels 5) Velocity of blood flow

It is the pressure difference between the two ends of the

blood vessel.
volume of blood flowing pressure gradient. Pressure gradient = P1 P2 ,

P1 = pressure at proximal end of the vessel P2 = pressure at distal end of the blood vessel.
The maximum pressure gradient exists b/w the aorta

(120mm of Hg ) & the inferior vena cava (0 mm of Hg).Ie, about 120mm of Hg.

Pressure gradient in different areas of vascular bed :Blood vessels P1 (mm of Hg) 120 P2 (mm of Hg) 0 Pressure gradient(mm of Hg) 120


B/w aorta & vena cava

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

B/w two ends of aorta

B/w beginning of arteries & end of arterioles B/w arterial & venous ends of capillaries B/w two ends of venules B/w two ends of veins B/w two ends of vena cava

100 30 15 10 0

30 15 10 0 -2

70 15 5 10 -2

It is resistance offered to blood flow in peripheral blood vessels. The volume of blood flow is 1/ to the peripheral resistance. Factors determining peripheral resistance are

1. radius of blood vessels 1/ peripheral resistance. 2. pressure gradient peripheral resistance. 3. viscosity of blood peripheral resistance.
Resistance = pressure gradient

volume of blood flow

, R = P1 P2 Q

Arterioles have more peripheral resistance.

It is the friction of blood against the wall of the blood vessel.

Viscosity influences the blood flow through resistance. The volume of blood flow is 1/ to the blood flow. The factors determining viscosity are

1.No: of RBC 2. Plasma protein mainly albumin.

In haemoconcentration ( burns) & polycythemia viscosity

so, velocity , so volume of blood to the organ .

Volume of blood flow diameter. The aorta has the maximum diameter and capillary has

minimum diameter.
The diameter of aorta depends upon the elasticity of the wall.

That of arterioles depends upon blood pressure.

But the cross sectional area gradually increases as the artery

ramify & the distance from the heart increases.

So aorta ( 4 cm2) has less cross sectional area than that of


It is the rate at which blood flows through a particular region of

the body.
Mean volume of blood Velocity of blood flow. The velocity mainly depends upon the diameter or cross

sectional area of blood vessel.

The velocity of blood flow is studied by

1.Using flow meter 2. Hemodromography

Mean velocity of blood flow different vessels:Blood vessel

Large arteries Small arteries

Mean velocity ( cm/sec)

50.00 5.00

Capillaries Venules Small veins Large veins

0.05 0.10 1.00 2.00

1) Cardiac ouput 2) Cross sectional area of blood vessel 3) Viscosity of the blood vessel

Velocity of blood flow cardiac output.

Increase in cardiac output leads to increase in the

velocity of blood flow in all parts of circulation.

Velocity 1/ total cross sectional area of the vascular

bed through which the blood circulates.

Velocity of blood flow is decreases as the distance from

the heart increases .

Velocity of blood flow 1/ Viscosity of blood .

If viscosity is more the velocity of blood flow will be

reduced .

During systole blood flows in the large arteries with

greater velocity .
And during diastole with lesser velocity. For eg: in common carotid artery during systole the

velocity reaches to about 50 cm /sec where as it is only 30 cm / sec during diastole.

It is the equation explaining the relationship between

different variables of dynamics.

According to it the volume (Q) of any fluid flowing through a

rigid tube is

to pressure gradient (P1 P2 ) to the fourth power of radius ( r4 )

1/ to the length of the tube ( L ).


(P1 P2 ) * r4 L K is the constant for fluid flowing at a temperature. Q= K

It is to the temperature.
K is expressed as the reciprocal of viscosity () as

viscosity is 1/ to temperature of fluid.

So Q = K (P1 P2 ) * r4 L *

As the volume of flow of fluid is expressed in a given unit of time an arithmetic value p/8 is derived & the equation is rewritten as Q= Thus, Q= (P1 P2 ) * r4 8L * (P1 P2 ) * r4 L * */8

The recoiling effect of blood vessels that converts the

Pulsatile flow of blood into a continuous flow is called Windkessel effect.

The blood vessels showing windkessel effect are

known as windkessel vessels ( aorta, pulmonary artery, their larger branches).

It is the time taken by the blood to travel through apart or

whole of the circulatory system.

If a substance is injected into a vein the time taken by it to

appear in the blood of the same vein or in the corresponding vein on the opposite side shows the total circulation time.
The circulation time is measured by introducing some

easily recognizable substance into blood stream & then determining the time when the substance appears at a given point in the circulation (end point).

Substances used for measuring circulation time:1. Histamine Causes flushing of face due to vasodilatation.


Dehydrocholine (20%)

Gives a bitter taste when reaches the tongue.


Ether or acetone

Detectable in breath by smell.


Sodium cyanide

Causes hyperpnea when it reaches the carotid artery. Identified at the end point by yellow color. It is used for total circulation time.


Dye fluorescein


Radioactive substances Detected at various points of the body by the use of ionization chamber.

Typical circulation times :1. Arm vein to arm vein 25 seconds (22-28) Dye fluoresceine


Arm vein to face

24 seconds



Arm vein to tongue

11 seconds (8-16)

De hydro choline (20%) Ether or acetone


Arm vein to lung

6seconds (4-6)


Arm vein to heart

4 seconds

Radioactive substances Sodium cyanide


Arm vein to carotid artery

14 seconds (12-15)

In humans circulation time is not affected by height,

weight, pulse rate, B.P etc, but in case of animals smaller the animal higher is the pulse rate and shorter is the total circulation time.
But the no : of heart beats / total circulation time remains

same for both the human beings & animals. Ie, about 30/ total circulation time .
The circulation time when the velocity of blood flow. The

circulation time > when velocity is less


cardiac output ( cardiac activity)

2. Velocity



4. Basal metabolic activity (BMR) 5. Condition of Peripheral blood vessels. (Peripheral

6. Adrenaline.

Condition altering circulation time:prolonged


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Myxoedema Polycythemia Cardiac failure Sympathetic stimulation Immersing limb in the cold water. Hypertension Shock Peripheral failure

9. 10. 11. 12.

Exercise Adrenaline administration Hyperthyroidism Anemia Decrease in peripheral resistance Elevation of limb above the heart Sympathectomy Application of heat Exercise of limb. Excitement Fever BMR

It means the regulation of blood flow to an organ by the organ

Auto regulation is defined as the intrinsic ability of an organ to

regulate a constant blood flow in spite of changes in the perfusion pressure.

Perfusion pressure refers to balance b/w the pressure in blood

vessels on either side of the organ ie, arterial pressure _venous pressure across the organ (PA-PV ).
The blood flow (F) to any organ or region of body depends

upon the effective perfusion pressure.

The effective perfusion pressure is the perfusion pressure divided

by resistance (R) in the blood vessels. F = PA-PV


But the major factor that determines the perfusion pressure &

effective perfusion pressure is the mean arterial blood pressure.

The normal mean arterial pressure is about 93mmof Hg. The autoregulation is possible only if the mean arterial blood

pressure is within the range of 60 170 mm of Hg.

The auto regulatory response is independent of neural

& hormonal influences.

It is the intrinsic capacity of the organ.

When there is a sudden or in BP there will be or

of blood flow, then the local mechanisms start functioning &the blood flow is brought to relatively normal level within few minutes.


Myogenic theory

2. Metabolic theory

The intrinsic contractile property of the smooth muscle fibers present in the blood vessels is responsible for autoregulation.


Stretching of blood vessel

flow of Ca 2+into cells from ECF

Contraction of smooth muscle fibers in the blood vessels


Blood flow is cntrolled

The normal blood flow is maintained by the metabolic end products .

Blood flow

Accumulation of metabolites (adenosine , CO2,lactate & H+)

Causes the vasodilatation

Blood flow becomes normal

Blood flow

Metabolites washed out of tissues

Causes the vasoconstriction

Volume of Blood flow becomes normal