The peripheral resistance to the circulation of the blood is important in general pathology. On the degree of this resistance depends the cardiac energy required to maintain the circulation, as well as the tension of the circulating fluid, with its far-reaching influences on nutrition. Two factors dominate and control this resistance in accordance with well recognized physical laws. These factors are (1) the changing caliber of the arterioles, (2) the chemico-physical characters of the blood. That the first is much the more important there can be no doubt; but that the second, as indicated by its viscosity, is entitled to careful study will be evident on the slightest examination. Huerthle, for instance, calculated that the work done by the heart of the dog is more than four times as great as it would be if the blood vessels were filled with distilled water instead of blood. This difference is due
McCASKEY GW. THE VISCOSITY OF THE BLOOD;: ITS VALUE IN CLINICAL MEDICINE. JAMA. 1908;LI(20):1653–1658. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410200001001
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