Ginkgo biloba extract increases ocular blood flow velocity

J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Jun;15(3):233-40. doi: 10.1089/jop.1999.15.233.


We evaluated a possible therapeutic effect of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) on glaucoma patients that may benefit from improvements in ocular blood flow. A Phase I cross-over trial of GBE with placebo control in 11 healthy volunteers (8 women, 3 men: Age; 34 +/- 3 years, mean +/- SE) was performed. Patients were treated with either GBE 40 mg or placebo three times daily orally, for 2 days. Color Doppler imaging (Siemens Quantum 2000) was used to measure ocular blood flow before and after treatment. There was a two week washout period between GBE and placebo treatment. Ginkgo biloba extract significantly increased end diastolic velocity (EDV) in the ophthalmic artery (OA) (baseline vs GBE-treatment; 6.5 +/- 0.5 vs 7.7 +/- 0.5 cm/sec, 23% change, p=0.023), with no change seen in placebo (baseline vs GBE-treatment; 7.2 +/- 0.6 vs 7.1 +/- 0.5 cm/sec, 3% change, p=0.892). No side effects related to GBE were found. Ginkgo biloba extract did not alter arterial blood pressure, heart rate, or IOP. Ginkgo biloba extract significantly increased EDV in the OA and deserves further investigation in ocular blood flow and neuroprotection for possible application to the treatment of glaucomatous optic neuropathy as well as other ischemic ocular diseases.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Ginkgo biloba / therapeutic use*
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy*
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Artery / drug effects*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Plant Extracts