This paper briefly reviews the physiological components of the microcirculation, focusing on its function in homeostasis and its central function in the realization of oxygen transport to tissue cells. Its pivotal role in the understanding of circulatory compromise in states of shock and renal compromise is discussed. Our introduction of hand-held vital microscopes (HVM) to clinical medicine has revealed the importance of the microcirculation as a central target organ in states of critical illness and inadequate response to therapy. Technical and methodological developments have been made in hardware and in software including our recent introduction and validation of automatic analysis software called MicroTools, which now allows point-of-care use of HVM imaging at the bedside for instant availability of functional microcirculatory parameters needed for microcirculatory targeted resuscitation procedures to be a reality.

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Keywords Incident dark field imaging, Microcirculation, Sepsis, Shock, Sidestream dark field imaging, Tissue red blood cell perfusion
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Journal Blood Purification
Guven, G. (Goksel), Hilty, M.P. (Matthias P.), & Ince, C. (2019). Microcirculation: Physiology, pathophysiology, and clinical application. Blood Purification. doi:10.1159/000503775