Effects of Leukocytes on Microvascular Rheology
The behavior of leukocytes [WBCs] in the microcirculation has been investigated by many investigators since the classical observations of Dutrochet . Early efforts to quantitate leukocyte flow behavior were made by Fahraeus  and Vejlens . At normal flow velocities, few white cells are observed in the smaller capillaries [6, 8, 19, 20]; however, at the slower flow states such as in inflammation or hypotension [1, 2, 3, 15, 20], they are often seen in capillaries and large numbers are found in postcapillary venules. In capillaries, particularly in the smaller microvessels 4–12 µm in diameter, leukocytes tend to flow axially  and maintain their spherical configuration; margination does not appear to occur. In postcapillary venules, margination is typical [2, 4, 8, 16, 19], appearing to relate to the divergence of flow, the slower rate of flow, and aggregation of erythrocytes. The more deformable erythrocytes appear to displace white cells toward the venule wall in the postcapillary venule [17, 19]. Proximity to the wall and stasis predispose to adherence to the vessel wall and potential for obstruction of flow.
KeywordsWhite Cell Flow Resistance Endothelial Cell Surface Deformable Erythrocyte Postcapillary Venule
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