Tissue Perfusion

Tilottama Chatterjee Apr 14, 2019
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Tissue perfusion is the amount of blood a tissue receives during circulation. Have a look at some information regarding the same.
Tissue perfusion is often confused with blood flow, but is actually a measure of the volume of blood that flows through the capillaries in a tissue. It is generally measured in milliliters of blood per 100 grams of tissue.
This measurement is carried out to understand the health of a particular tissue since impaired or reduced perfusion can indicate a medical condition which requires care.
Ineffective tissue perfusion can be mainly renal, cerebral, gastrointestinal, or cardiac in nature. In layman's terms, ineffective perfusion means that the blood flow in the affected region is insufficient.
When the blood flow to a particular region decreases, it causes reduced nutritional supply to the cells in that region, which can be problematic if continued over a prolonged period. Altered perfusion can also cause a reduction in oxygen supply to the affected region.
Ineffective perfusion, sometimes, takes place for a short period of time without serious consequences, but can result in death or damage of a tissue if left untreated or undetected.
When there are fluctuations in blood circulation or flow causing altered perfusion, there are different symptoms that will manifest in various ways depending on the region affected. Some of the possible symptoms that may be seen are as follows:


  • Water retention (edema)
  • Weak peripheral pulse
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Damp, cold skin
  • Changes in temperature
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Altered speech pattern
  • Slow or reduced pupil reaction to light
  • Low urine output
  • Fluctuations in blood pressure
  • High levels of blood urea nitrogen/creatinine ratio
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Distended abdomen
  • Reduction in bowel sounds
  • Chest pain
  • Abnormal arterial blood gases
  • Hypotension
  • Change in rate of respiration


Impaired tissue infusion over a prolonged period can lead to serious complications like organ failure. Depending on the affected region, the care plan for the patient will change. The care plan for each category is listed here:


  • Keep the patient still. Any movement may cause further trauma.
  • Demonstrate and aid in practicing passive range of motion exercises after frequent intervals.
  • Monitor pulses regularly.
  • Do not elevate the limbs.
  • Keep hands and feet warm.


  • In case the intracranial pressure increases, raising the head off the bed to a 30 or 45 degree angle can help reduce the pressure.
  • Avoid any strenuous action that may cause further increase in intracranial pressure.
  • Treatments may include the administration of anticonvulsants to counter the possibility of seizures.


  • Administer oxygen if needed.
  • Administer nitroglycerin for complaints of angina.
The aim behind the treatment is to regain optimum tissue perfusion as a result of the care plan. Since any alterations in perfusion results in reduced oxygen or nutrition to the affected area, it's important to advise patients at risk, about the ways to prevent or reduce the recurrence of the condition.
Some of these ways discussed below can be incorporated into a home-care plan that can be implemented through simple lifestyle changes:
  • Perform regular low-intensity exercise, such as walking
  • Avoid extreme fatigue
  • Avoid long periods of non movement, especially during long distance travel
  • Remain sufficiently hydrated
  • Stop smoking
With changes in lifestyle and medical care, ineffective tissue perfusion can be tackled before it reaches a critical stage. Always consult a medical practitioner for a correct diagnosis and proper medical treatment.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.