Leukocyte plugging of capillaries in vivo was measured in rat spinotrapezius muscle. The plug durations, leukocyte and capillary dimensions, and arteriolar pressure at the plug sites were applied to the mechanical model of Needham and Hochmuth (1990) to estimate the leukocyte viscosities. The viscosity distribution of 389 cells was lognormal with a median value of 232 Poise. 3.1 percent of the cells were apparently activated and displayed viscosities greater than 3000 Poise. The median viscosity suggests that inactivated leukocytes have a minimal effect on blood flow, but that leukocyte activation may result in significant increases in microvascular flow resistance.

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