Determinants of blood viscosity

Plasma proteins Red blood cells a Haematocrit r

O Red cell aggregation: at low shear rates, rouleaux formation occurs s Red cell flexibility or rigidity c a Platelet aggregation y Shear rate; blood behaves as a non-Newtonian fluid at low shear rates. At high

e shear rates, blood displays Newtonian behaviour, with the shear stress being directly proportional to the shear strain rate or velocity gradient.

Diameter of the blood vessel: Fahraeus-Lindqvist effect.

Hyperviscosity syndromes can be associated with polycythaemia, thrombocytosis, leukocytosis or elevated plasma protein levels (as in multiple myeloma or macroglobulinaemia).

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