Is human skeletal muscle capillary supply modelled according to fibre size or fibre type?

Exp Physiol. 1997 Jan;82(1):231-4. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.1997.sp004012.


Analysis of muscle supply usually relies on estimating either the numerical capillary to fibre ratio or capillary density. Both indices are scale dependent, i.e. they vary with fibre size. We have examined the use of an alternative approach based on the anatomical supply area of individual capillaries, which allows the calculation of a local capillary to fibre ration or density based on area, rather than number of fibres. The results suggest that, in human skeletal muscle, capillary supply is primarily scaled according to fibre size, and is relatively independent of fibre type.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Capillaries / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*