Retinal vessel oxygen saturation during 100% oxygen breathing in healthy individuals

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Abstract

Purpose: To detect how systemic hyperoxia affects oxygen saturation in retinal arterioles and venules in healthy individuals. Methods: Retinal vessel oxygen saturation was measured in 30 healthy individuals with a spectrophotometric retinal oximeter (Oxymap T1). Oximetry was performed during breathing of room air, 100% oxygen (10 minutes, 6L/min) and then again room air (10 minutes recovery). Results: Mean oxygen saturation rises modestly in retinal arterioles during 100% oxygen breathing (94.5%±3.8 vs. 92.0%±3.7% at baseline, p<0.0001) and dramatically in retinal venules (76.2%±8.0% vs. 51.3%±5.6%, p<0.0001). The arteriovenous difference decreased during 100% oxygen breathing (18.3%±9.0% vs. 40.7%±5.7%, p<0.0001). The mean diameter of arterioles decreased during 100% oxygen breathing compared to baseline (9.7±1.4 pixels vs. 10.3±1.3 pixels, p<0.0001) and the same applies to the mean venular diameter (11.4±1.2 pixels vs. 13.3±1.5 pixels, p<0.0001). Conclusions: Breathing 100% oxygen increases oxygen saturation in retinal arterioles and more so in venules and constricts them compared to baseline levels. The dramatic increase in oxygen saturation in venules reflects oxygen flow from the choroid and the unusual vascular anatomy and oxygen physiology of the eye.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0128780
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Olafsdottir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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