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

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ At rest, during sleep or in the midst of strenuous exercise? In human adults? $\endgroup$ Mar 5, 2012 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't think the flow varied much between rest and high activity? A comparison would be nice. Yes, human adults. $\endgroup$
    – Andreas
    Mar 5, 2012 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ You will have to account for mass balance using the Navier-Stokes equation which accounts for the cross-sectional area of the vessels. $\endgroup$
    – bobthejoe
    Mar 5, 2012 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ @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. $\endgroup$
    – Andreas
    Mar 6, 2012 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


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.


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