The predictions of the simplified Weinbaum-Jiji (WJ) bioheat transfer equation in one dimension are compared to those of the complete one-dimensional three-equation model that represented the starting point for the derivation of the WJ equation, as well as results obtained using the traditional bioheat transfer equation of Pennes [6]. The WJ equation provides very good agreement with the three-equation model for vascular generations 2 to 9, which are located in the outer half of the muscle layer, where the paired vessel diameters are less than 500 μm, under basal blood flow conditions. At the same time, the Pennes equation yields a better description of heat transfer in the first generation, where the vessels’ diameters are greater than 500 μm and ε, the vessels’ normalized thermal equilibration length, is greater than 0.3. These results were obtained under both normothermic and hyperthermic conditions. A new conceptual view of the blood source term in the Pennes equation has emerged from these results. This source term, which was originally intended to represent an isotropic heat source in the capillaries, is shown to describe instead the heat transfer from the largest countercurrent microvessels to the tissue due to small vessel bleed-off. The WJ equation includes this effect, but significantly overestimates the second type of tissue heat transfer, countercurrent convective heat transfer, when ε > 0.3. Indications are that a “hybrid” model that applies the Pennes equation in the first generation (normothermic) and first two to three generations (after onset of hyperthermia) and the Weinbaum-Jiji equation in the subsequent generations would be most appropriate for simulations of bioheat transfer in perfused tissue.

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