Theoretical studies have indicated that a significant fraction of all blood-tissue heat transfer occurs in artery-vein pairs whose arterial diameter varies between 200 and 1000 μm. In this study, we have developed a new in vivo technique in which it is possible to make the first direct measurements of the countercurrent thermal equilibration that occurs along thermally significant vessels of this size. Fine wire thermocouples were attached by superglue to the femoral arteries and veins and their subsequent branches in rats and the axial temperature variation in each vessel was measured under different physiological conditions. Unlike the blood vessels in diameter, where the blood rapidly equilibrates with the surrounding tissue, we found that the thermal equilibration length of blood vessels between 200 μm and 1000 μm in diameter is longer than or at least equivalent to the vessel length. It is shown that the axial arterial temperature decays from 44% to 76% of the total core-skin temperature difference along blood vessels of this size, and this decay depends strongly on the local blood perfusion rate and the vascular geometry. Our experimental measurements also showed that the SAV venous blood recaptured up to 41% of the total heat released from its countercurrent artery under normal conditions. The contribution of countercurrent heat exchange is significantly reduced in these larger thermally significant vessels for hyperemic conditions as predicted by previous theoretical analyses. Results from this study, when combined with previous analyses of vessel pairs less than 200 μm diameter, enable one estimate the arterial supply temperature and the correction coefficient in the modified perfusion source term developed by the authors.
Experimental Measurements of the Temperature Variation Along Artery-Vein Pairs from 200 to 1000 μm Diameter in Rat Hind Limb
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 2001; revised manuscript received July 2002. Associate Editor: E. P. Scott.
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He , Q., Zhu, L., Lemons, D. E., and Weinbaum, S. (December 27, 2002). "Experimental Measurements of the Temperature Variation Along Artery-Vein Pairs from 200 to 1000 μm Diameter in Rat Hind Limb ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. December 2002; 124(6): 656–661. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1517061
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