Ineffective Tissue Perfusion: Definition & Risk

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  • 0:03 Healthy Tissue Perfusion
  • 1:19 Ineffective Tissue Perfusion
  • 2:15 Symptoms
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Danielle Haak

Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences

Ineffective tissue perfusion results from inadequate blood flow to an area's tissues. This lesson will define the condition, cover risk factors that can lead to ineffective tissue perfusion, and identify symptoms.

Healthy Tissue Perfusion

Before we can really talk about ineffective tissue perfusion, it would be helpful to first learn what tissue perfusion even is! You're probably familiar with how your body transfers oxygen and nutrients, but let's do a quick review.

You have a network of blood vessels that are responsible for transporting blood, and blood carries oxygen and nutrients that your cells and tissues need to survive. (Groups of cells with similar function make up tissues, and groups of tissues make up organs.) The heart pumps blood around the body, and oxygen and carbon dioxide enter and leave the bloodstream via the lungs. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells and then picks up carbon dioxide and other waste materials to be transported out of the body.

When this system works as it should, we are in good shape. The actual gas exchange (oxygen and carbon dioxide) takes place in very small blood vessels called capillaries, and this healthy transfer of gases is called tissue perfusion. All of the cells in the body require oxygen and nutrients for cellular respiration, and they need a way to get rid of carbon dioxide (and other wastes); as you can see, blood is critically important to this process.

Now we're up to speed on tissue perfusion, so we can get into the meat of this lesson: ineffective tissue perfusion.

Ineffective Tissue Perfusion

Sometimes situations occur where this exchange of gases between the blood and the cells is disrupted, meaning the cells (and ultimately the tissues and organs) stop getting adequate oxygen supply. The body can't function without oxygen, so obviously this is a problem. When tissues don't receive enough oxygen through the capillaries, this is called ineffective tissue perfusion.

Many conditions can disrupt the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, but diabetes, obesity, anemia, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease are some of the more common risk factors that can cause ineffective tissue perfusion. We can further classify the type of ineffective tissue perfusion based on the part of the body affected. For example, there's renal (meaning kidney), cerebral (meaning brain), cardiopulmonary (meaning heart and lungs), gastrointestinal (meaning digestive tract), and peripheral (meaning affecting the extremities) ineffective tissue perfusion.

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