• Branko Furst


The microcirculation (MC) is a complex network of conduits adapted for exchange of respiratory gases and nutrients. Its large total surface area allows for greatest possible contact between the blood and the tissues. Each segment of the MC is unique in possessing functional and morphologic features adapted to the organ it supplies. Unlike the macrocirculation that is at the core of the pressure-propulsion model, the microcirculation has traditionally been ascribed only a secondary role. With the advent of new methods for in vivo monitoring of microcirculatory function, this view has radically changed. Direct visualization and other ways to quantify microvascular perfusion have uncovered its fundamental hemodynamic role in health and critical illness. Microvascular research has become the “new frontier” in cardiovascular medicine. In this chapter, the following topics are reviewed: morphology and function of the three types of microvascular beds; the role of vascular endothelium in physiological and disease states; the classic Starling principle of the capillary exchange and its revised form; metabolic control of tissue perfusion; the role of red blood cells in control of tissue perfusion and the coherence between the macro- and microcirculations.


Microcirculation Types of capillaries Vascular endothelium Capillary fluid dynamics Revised Starling principle Interstitial space Oncotic pressure Negative interstitial pressure Orthogonal polarization spectral imaging Sidestream dark-field imaging Cardiopulmonary bypass Critical illness Fluid therapy Functional capillary density Coherence between macro- and microcirculation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Branko Furst
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor of AnesthesiologyAlbany Medical CollegeAlbanyUSA

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