Modeling the hematocrit distribution in microcirculatory networks: A quantitative evaluation of a phase separation model

Peter M. Rasmussen, Timothy W. Secomb, Axel R. Pries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Theoretical models are essential tools for studying microcirculatory function. Recently, the validity of a well-established phase separation model was questioned and it was claimed that it produces problematically low hematocrit predictions and lack of red cells in small diameter vessels. We conducted a quantitative evaluation of this phase separation model to establish common ground for future research. Methods: Model predictions were validated against a comprehensive database with measurements from 4 mesenteric networks. A Bayesian data analysis framework was used to integrate measurements and network model simulations into a combined analysis and to model uncertainties related to network boundary conditions as well as phase separation model parameters. The model evaluation was conducted within a cross-validation scheme. Results: Unlike the recently reported results, our analysis demonstrated good correspondence in global characteristics between measurements and predictions. In particular, predicted hematocrits for vessels with small diameters were consistent with measurements. Incorporating phase separation model parameter uncertainties further reduced the hematocrit validation error by 17% and led to the absence of red-cell-free segments. Corresponding model parameters are presented as alternatives to standard parameters. Conclusions: Consistent with earlier studies, our quantitative model evaluation supports the continued use of the established phase separation model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12445
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Bayesian inference
  • flow simulation
  • microcirculatory measurements
  • phase separation effect
  • quantitative model evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling the hematocrit distribution in microcirculatory networks: A quantitative evaluation of a phase separation model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this