The effect of blood velocity pulsations on bioheat transfer is studied. A simple model of a straight rigid blood vessel with unsteady periodic flow is considered. A numerical solution that considers the fully coupled Navier–Stokes and energy equations is used for the simulations. The influence of the pulsation rate on the temperature distribution and energy transport is studied for four typical vessel sizes: aorta, large arteries, terminal arterial branches, and arterioles. The results show that: the pulsating axial velocity produces a pulsating temperature distribution; reversal of flow occurs in the aorta and in large vessels, which produces significant time variation in the temperature profile. Change of the pulsation rate yields a change of the energy transport between the vessel wall and fluid for the large vessels. For the thermally important terminal arteries (0.04–1 mm), velocity pulsations have a small influence on temperature distribution and on the energy transport out of the vessels (8 percent for the Womersley number corresponding to a normal heart rate). Given that there is a small difference between the time-averaged unsteady heat fiux due to a pulsating blood velocity and an assumed nonpulsating blood velocity, it is reasonable to assume a nonpulsating blood velocity for the purposes of estimating bioheat transfer.

*An Introduction to the Practical Aspects of Hyperthermia*, Taylor & Francis, New York.

*Hyperthermia in the Treatment for Cancer*, Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI.

*Thermal Dosimetry and Treatment Planning*, M. Gautherie, ed., Springer-Verlag, pp. 1–56.

*The Finite Element Method in Engineering Science*, McGraw-Hill, London.

*Numerical Analysis. Mathematics of Scientific Computing*, Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, Pacific Grove, CA.

*The Biomedical Engineering Handbook*, J. D. Bronzino, ed., CRC Press, IEEE Press.

*Blood Flow in Arteries*, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD.