Perturbation of red blood cell flow in small tubes by white blood cells


The flow of blood in the microcirculation is facilitated by the dynamic reduction in viscosity (Fahraeus-Lindquist effect) resulting from the axial flow of deforming crythrocytes (RBCs) and from the decrease in the ratio of cell to vessel diameter. RBC velocity exceeds that of average fluid velocity; however the slower moving white blood cells (WBC) perturb flow velocity and the ratio of cell to vessel diameter by obstructing red cell flow through formation of “trains” of red cells collecting behind the white cell. This effect of white cells was studied quantitatively in a model in vitro tubes less than 10 μm in diameter with the demonstration that flow resistance increases linearly with white cell numbers up to 1,000 WBC/mm3 at tube hematocrit of 17.7%. The increase in resistance exceeds the flow resistance of WBC and appears to relate directly to train formation. A mechanical model of train formation developed to predict WBC influence in flow resistance over the range of WBC studied reasonably fits observed WBC effects.

DOI: 10.1007/BF00584486

4 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@article{Thompson1989PerturbationOR, title={Perturbation of red blood cell flow in small tubes by white blood cells}, author={Thomas Neil Thompson and Paul L . La Celle and Giles R. Cokelet}, journal={Pfl{\"{u}gers Archiv}, year={1989}, volume={413}, pages={372-377} }