A bioheat transfer model which computes the spatial variations in the arteriole, venule, and muscle temperatures in a human extremity under both resting and hyperthermic conditions is presented. This model uses the two-parameter model first proposed by Baish et al. [2] to account for the heat exchange between tissue and the paired arterioles and venules that comprise the microcirculation. Thermoregulation of the muscle blood flow during hyperthermia is also incorporated into the model. Results show that even when the paired arteriole and venule are assumed to have equal radii, the mean temperature under both steady and transient conditions is not equal to the mean of the arteriole and venule blood temperatures. Tissue temperature profiles during hyperthermia computed with the three-equation model presented in this study are similar in shape and magnitude to those predicted by the traditional one-equation Pennes bioheat transfer model [1]. This is due primarily to the influence of thermoregulatory mechanism in the heated muscle. The unexpected agreement is significant given the inherent relative simplicity of the traditional Pennes model. An “experimental” thermal conductivity is presented to relate the theoretical results to experimental procedures that are widely used to estimate the enhancement of conductivity by perfusion.

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