Measuring Retinal Vessel Diameter from Mouse Fluorescent Angiography Images

Andrea García-Llorca, Hallur Reynisson, Thor Eysteinsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is important to study the development of retinal vasculature in retinopathies in which abnormal vessel growth can ultimately lead to vision loss. Mutations in the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (Mitf) gene show hypopigmentation, microphthalmia, retinal degeneration, and in some cases, blindness. In vivo imaging of the mouse retina by noninvasive means is vital for eye research. However, given its small size, mouse fundus imaging is difficult and might require specialized tools, maintenance, and training. In this study, we have developed a unique software enabling analysis of the retinal vessel diameter in mice with an automated program written in MATLAB. Fundus photographs were obtained with a commercial fundus camera system following an intraperitoneal injection of a fluorescein salt solution. Images were altered to enhance contrast, and the MATLAB program permitted extracting the mean vascular diameter automatically at a predefined distance from the optic disk. The vascular changes were examined in wild-type mice and mice with various mutations in the Mitf gene by analyzing the retinal vessel diameter. The custom-written MATLAB program developed here is practical, easy to use, and allows researchers to analyze the mean diameter and mean total diameter, as well as the number of vessels from the mouse retinal vasculature, conveniently and reliably.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere64964
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number195
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Postdoctoral Fellowship grant from the Icelandic Research Fund (217796-052) (A.G.L.) and the Helga Jónsdóttir and Sigurlidi Kristjánsson Memorial Fund (A.G.L and T.E.). The authors thank Prof. Eiríkur Steingrímsson for providing the mice.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 JoVE Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Other keywords

  • Mice
  • Animals
  • Retinal Vessels/diagnostic imaging
  • Fluorescein Angiography/methods
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Optic Disk
  • Retinal Diseases


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