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March 1966

Effect of Low Molecular Weight Dextran on Cortical Blood Flow

Author Affiliations

From the departments of neurology and neurological surgery, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the New York Neurological Institute, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1966;14(3):288-293. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470090060008

IT IS NOW well recognized that tissue ischemia in the presence of occlusive vascular disease is not only due to the narrowing of arterial channels but to a number of additional factors. One which appears to be of prime importance is an alteration in blood viscosity and red cell mobility within the microvasculature. In both animal experiments and by observations made in humans, Gelin1 has shown that, at low rates of blood flow, viscosity is increased in capillary vessels primarily as a result of the formation of erythrocyte aggregates—the so-called sludging effect. Wells,2 in an extensive review of the rheology of blood in the microvasculature, calls attention to the importance of these changes in a number of clinical conditions and discusses their treatment by the use of pharmacological agents. Though these reports are concerned primarily with various systemic diseases and peripheral vascular disorders, the