Purpose: To investigate whether regional long-term changes in peripapillary retinal flow, measured by scanning laser Doppler flowmetry (SLDF), occur in patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).
Methods: 31 healthy volunteers (mean age: 65 8.3 years) and 33 POAG patients (mean age: 71.2 7.6 years) were followed up every 4 months for 16 months. Using SLDF, three images of the superior and inferior optic nerve head were obtained for each subject. A 1010-pixel frame was used to measure blood flow, volume and velocity in the four quadrants of the peripapillary retina. Central 24-2 visual field testing was carried out at each visit. Repeated measures analysis of covariance was used to assess change over time between the normal and POAG groups for the SLDF parameters. Univariate linear regression analysis for mean deviation and glaucoma change probability (GCP) analysis were used to identify visual field progression.
Results: Blood volume, flow and velocity measured in the inferior nasal quadrant of the peripapillary retina decreased significantly over time for the POAG group compared to the normal group (p=0.0073, 0.0097, 0.0095 respectively). Overall, 2 glaucoma patients showed a significantly deteriorating MD slope, while 7 patients showed visual field progression with GPA. All of the patients progressing with GPA, showed change in the superior hemifield and, of those, 14% showed change in the inferior hemifield.
Conclusion: Glaucoma patients showed a decrease in blood flow, volume and velocity in the inferior nasal peripapillary retina. A regional variation in microvascular retinal capillary blood flow may provide insight into the pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy.
Keywords: 331 blood supply • 554 retina • 624 visual fields
- blood supply
- visual fields