Physiological perturbation of ocular and cerebral blood flow as measured by scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and color Doppler imaging.

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Retinal blood flow regulation in health remains poorly described. We hypothesized that retinal perfusion is controlled to provide constant O2 delivery to that tissue, and that changes in retinal blood flow in response to chemical stimuli parallel changes in carotid and retrobulbar perfusion. Accordingly, in 11 young adults with normal eye examinations, we measured retinal blood flow indices (via scanning laser ophthalmoscopy [SLO] during fluorescein angiography) and carotid, ophthalmic, and central retinal arterial blood flow indices (via Doppler imaging [CDI]) under control, hypoxic (alveolar PO2 = 55 +/- 3 mmHg) and hyperoxic (alveolar PO2 = 655 +/- 18 mmHg) conditions. The three conditions were counterbalanced in order and isocapnia was maintained in each. Retinal arterial mean dye velocity and arteriovenous passage time, as measured by SLO, were slowed by hyperoxia and accelerated by hypoxia, in rough proportion to the changes in arterial O2 content (+/- 10%; p < 0.05). In the seven subjects in which relative measurements of retinal arterial diameters were obtained, neither hypoxia nor hyperoxia significantly altered vessel diameter. At the same time, mean retinal capillary transit velocity was independent of PO2, suggesting that, in health, retinal capillaries may be recruited as PO2 falls. O2-induced changes in carotid, ophthalmic, or central retinal arterial blood flow velocities (via CDI) were not found, though a wide coefficient of variation (30% for CDI vs. 14% for SLO) may have contributed to this failure. We conclude that, under isocapnic conditions, retinal perfusion may be regulated to provide constant O2 delivery.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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Diagnosis | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Radiology




Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Medical Imaging

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