The convective transport of oxygen and the 'apparent viscosity' of blood in the microcirculation are strongly dependent upon the concentration of red blood cells (rbcs) within individual microvessels which is often expressed as the volume fraction of rbcs or hematocrit. To account for the role of hematocrit as a determinant of the volume flux of rbcs and blood viscosity, it is necessary to define two hematocrits: microvessel hematocrit, and discharge hematocrit. This paper discusses the mechanisms which contribute to a disparity between H//m//i//c//r//o and H//s//y//s, and area of opportunity for further studies of the mechanics of red cell distribution in the microcirculation.
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|Published - Dec 1 1987
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