Intraocular pressure decrease does not affect blood flow rate of ophthalmic artery in ocular hypertension

Gauti Jóhannesson*, Sara Qvarlander, Anders Wåhlin, Khalid Ambarki, Per Hallberg, Anders Eklund, Christina Lindén

*Corresponding author for this work

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PURPOSE. To investigate if decrease of IOP affects the volumetric blood flow rate in the ophthalmic artery (OA) in patients with previously untreated ocular hypertension. METHODS. Subjects with untreated ocular hypertension (n = 30; mean age 67 ± 8 years; 14 females) underwent ophthalmologic examination and a 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging investigation. The magnetic resonance imaging included three-dimensional high-resolution phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging to measure the OA blood flow rate. The subjects received latanoprost once daily in the eye with higher pressure, the untreated eye served as control. The same measurements were repeated approximately 1 week later. RESULTS. The mean OA blood flow rate before and after treatment was 12.4 ± 4.4 and 12.4 ± 4.6 mL/min in the treated eye (mean ± SD; P = 0.92) and 13.5 ± 5.2 and 13.4 ± 4.1 mL/min in the control eye (P = 0.92). There was no significant difference between the treated and control eye regarding blood flow rate before (P = 0.13) or after treatment (P = 0.18), or change in blood flow rate after treatment (0.1 ± 3.1 vs. −0.1 ± 4.0 mL/min, P = 0.84). Latanoprost decreased the IOP by 7.2 ± 3.1 mm Hg in the treated eye (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS. The results indicate that a significant lowering of IOP does not affect the blood flow rate of the OA in ocular hypertension subjects. The ability to maintain blood supply to the eye independent of the IOP could be a protective mechanism in preserving vision in subjects with ocular hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Financial support was provided through regional agreements between Umea University and Vasterbotten County Council and also by grants from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Crown Princess Margareta's Foundation, Ogonfonden, Insamlingsstiftelserna vid Umea universitet, the Swedish Medical Society Foundation, the Cronqvist Foundation, the Regnér Foundation and Swedish Society for Medical Research. The funding organizations had no role in the design or conduct of this research. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Inc.. All rights reserved.

Other keywords

  • Blood flow
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ophthalmic artery
  • Augnsjúkdómar


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