CO2 Pressure Field: Half Blood Flow

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Reduction in intracapillary blood flow velocity results in an increase in the venoarterial CO2 gradient and an increase in the CO2 concentration in the lethal corner area.

Mathematically if the intracapillary blood flow velocity decreases by 50%, the p[v-a]CO2 will double. In this example, the p[v-a]CO2 is 10 mmHg because intracapillary blood flow velocity has fallen from 200 to only 100μ/sec. This results in an increased carbon dioxide concentration in the tissues, especially the lethal corner area. Correspondingly the intracellular acidosis worsens. Similar to the way that the intracellular pH decreases due to the accumulation of organic acid waste products from anaerobic metabolism, the accumulation of CO2 causes the intracellular milieu to become inhospitable to normal enzymatic function resulting in the eventual impairment of organ function. This can occur even if tissue oxygenation is adequate.

Perfusion Theory is an educational platform for the Oxygen Pressure Field Theory (OPFT). August Krogh’s theoretical concept of the oxygen pressure field is explained and then applied to clinical applications in perfusion practice.