Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How fast is the blood flow in different blood vessels, such as the aorta and capillaries?

share|improve this question
At rest, during sleep or in the midst of strenuous exercise? In human adults? – Larry_Parnell Mar 5 '12 at 16:25
I didn't think the flow varied much between rest and high activity? A comparison would be nice. Yes, human adults. – Andreas Mar 5 '12 at 16:34
You will have to account for mass balance using the Navier-Stokes equation which accounts for the cross-sectional area of the vessels. – bobthejoe Mar 5 '12 at 23:10
@bobthejoe: Even with a good model of the arterial system, calculating these velocities through a model would probably not work. I'm looking for actual measurements, e.g. as those Larry posted for the MCA. – Andreas Mar 6 '12 at 7:17

In the middle cerebral artery blood flow at rest is 73.7 cm/s. After a period of 3 minutes of hyperventilation, blood flow in the same artery decreases to 37.6 cm/s. This is published work.

Vena cava measures: Peak velocities during ventricular systole ranged from 30 to 45 cm/sec in the inferior, and from 10 to 35 cm/sec in the superior, vena cava, also published.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.