Myoglobin retards the development of anoxia in a poorly perfused region of skeletal muscle by facilitating diffusion into this region from adjacent normally perfused regions and by releasing bound oxygen directly into the tissue. We examine these phenomena by analyzing a mathematical model of time-dependent myoglobin-facilitated oxygen transport. The governing equations are solved using similarity transformations and multiple-scale techniques. We find that when perfusion of a region is suddenly decreased, oxygen depletion is significantly retarded by direct release of myoglobin-bound oxygen into the tissue and that myoglobin-facilitated diffusion of oxygen from adjacent regions becomes significant at very low oxygen concentration. © 1993.
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