The proceedings of a symposium held in Philadelphia, March 10th and 11th, 1966, under the auspices of the Heart Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, provide the material for this book.
The microcirculation of man has, as one of its functions, the distribution of 24 trillion red blood cells to the capillary vessels every minute. The microcirculation determines, as much as does the central pump, whether life is sustained. Without capillary perfusion, tissue or organ function fails. The microcirculation is also a dynamic reservoir, containing one sixth of the total circulating blood volume. If vasodilatation were generalized, ie, all tone lost, the entire blood volume would not completely fill all of these vessels. Irreversible shock is an example of this fatal event.
This symposium reviews the new body of knowledge concerning the morphology and mechanism of function of the vascular system at its smallest component parts. Information obtained from studies performed