Cross Circulation Method

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cross Circulation Method


an experimental technique in which the large blood vessels of two animals, for example, dogs, are joined so as to create a common circulatory system.

The first cross circulation experiment was performed in 1890 by the Belgian physiologist L. Frederic, who joined the carotid arteries of two dogs. The method was subsequently widely used by the Belgian pharmacologist C. Heymans. The method is used in organ and tissue transplantation, chiefly to equalize the immunological systems of the donor and recipient, and in some procedures that involve the heart and major blood vessels of higher, warm-blooded animals.

Cross circulation is achieved by suturing major arteries, such as the carotid or femoral, of partners and their corresponding veins. To avoid excess pumping of blood from the organism with a high arterial pressure to that with a low one, the Soviet physiologist V. P. Demikhov proposed that only the heart of one partner be allowed to function in the joint circulatory system. The method has been improved to allow experiments to continue for several days, thus broadening the applicability of cross circulation in experimental biology and medicine.


Demikhov, V. P. Peresadka zhiznenno vazhnykh organov v eksperimente. Moscow, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.