Blood, being a suspension of deformable red cells suspended in plasma, displays flow dynamics considerably more complicated than those of an ideal Newtonian fluid. Flow dynamics in blood capillaries of a few hundred micrometers in diameter are investigated using Doppler optical coherence tomography (DOCT) and Doppler amplitude optical coherence tomography (DAOCT), a novel extension of DOCT. Velocity profiles and concentration distributions of normal and rigidified in vitro red blood cell suspensions are shown to vary as functions of mean flow velocity, cell concentration, and cell rigidity. Deviation from the parabolic velocity profile expected for Pouseille flow is observed for both rigid and normal cells at low flow rates. Axial red cell migration both toward and away from the tube axis is observed for both rigid and normal cells as a function of flow velocity. Good agreement is found between our measurements, and theoretical expectations. © 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.