Nuclear medicine dosimetry and research in biodosimetry often require the knowledge of the absorbed dose to the blood. This study provides coefficients for the absorbed dose rates to the blood related to the activity concentration in the blood as a function of the vessel radius for radionuclides commonly used in targeted radiotherapy and in PET-diagnostics: C-11, F-18, Ga-68, Y-90, Tc-99 m, I-124, I-131, and Lu-177. The energy deposition patterns after nuclear disintegrations in blood vessel lumina (cylinders homogeneously filled with blood) with radii from 0.01 to 25.0 mm were simulated with the Monte-Carlo radiation transport code MCNPX. An additional contribution from photon radiation from activity in blood in the remainder of the body was taken into account based on a reasonable blood distribution model. The fraction of energy absorbed from non-penetrating radiation in the blood is low in thin blood vessels but approaches the total energy emitted by particles with increasing lumen radius. For photon radiation, irradiation to blood in small vessels is almost completely due to radioactive decays in distant blood distributed throughout the body, whereas the contribution from activity in the vessel becomes dominant for lumen radii exceeding 13 mm. The dependences of the absorbed dose rates on the lumen radius can be described with good accuracy by empirical functions which can be used to determine the absorbed doses to the blood and to the surrounding tissue.