Microcirculatory oxygen transport and utilization

Shannan K. Hamlin, C. Lee Parmley, Sandra K. Hanneman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The cardiovascular system (macrocirculation) circulates blood throughout the body, but the microcirculation is responsible for modifying tissue perfusion and adapting it to metabolic demand. Hemodynamic assessment and monitoring of the critically ill patient is typically focused on global measures of oxygen transport and utilization, which do not evaluate the status of the microcirculation. Despite achievement and maintenance of global hemodynamic and oxygenation goals, patients may develop microcirculatory dysfunction with associated organ failure. A thorough understanding of the microcirculatory system under physiologic conditions will assist the clinician in early recognition of microcirculatory dysfunction in impending and actual disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Care Nursing Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Blood flow
  • Capillary
  • Hemodynamics
  • Microcirculation
  • Oxygen extraction
  • Oxygen transport
  • Oxygen utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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