Page 10, Turbulence & Rheology, Dr. D. Penney

Fahraeus-Lindqvist Effect (continued..)

The Fahraeus-Lindqvist effect provides several important advantages for the body. The fact that blood viscosity declines in smaller vessels is beneficial since less resistance is incurred in the vascular circuit. Therefore lower perfusion pressures, lower transmural (blood) pressures, and a smaller pump (heart) are required to adequately perfuse the tissues.

It is fortuitous that the very vessels in which the Fahraeus-Lindqvist effect occurs, are also the vessels with the highest flow resistance, i.e. the arterioles. If a Newtonian fluid of the same viscosity were substituted for non-Newtonian blood, flow resistance would be much higher.

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