Letter | Published:

In vivo evaluation of microcirculation by coherent light scattering

Naturevolume 254pages5658 (1975) | Download Citation



THE microcirculation plays a central role in the regulation of the metabolic, haemodynamic and thermal state of the individual. Its physiological state varies over both long and short time periods and reflects the state of health of the individual; in particular it is the ultimatearbiter of the adequacy of tissue perfusion in the presence of vascular disease or injury. For these reasons it is of interest to both the physiologist and the clinician to be able to monitor the state of flow and distribution of flow in the compartments of the microvasculature rapidly, conveniently and with minimal interference with the many local and central reflex controls. At present such measurements depend on direct observation, plethysmography thermal or radioisotope techniques1, which are slow or cumbersome or grossly disturb the normal state of the subject. We report here the first stages in development of a noninvasive method for acquiring such information which has a rapid response and the potential ability to distinguish flow in the different microvascular compartments by the differences in flow velocities.

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  1. Laboratory of Technical Development, National Heart and Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20014

    • M. D. STERN


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