Ocular blood flow in diabetes and age-related macular degeneration

Can J Ophthalmol. 2008 Jun;43(3):295-301. doi: 10.3129/i08-049.


The 2 leading causes of blindness in adults in the industrialized nations, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, have been investigated thoroughly with respect to their pathogenesis. In recent years, it has been discovered that dysfunctional ocular microcirculation appears to play a part in the development of both diseases. In diabetic retinopathy, it has been shown that the disease is associated with early retinal vascular dysregulation. In the later states of the disease, retinal tissue hypoxia is a major trigger of sight-threatening neovascularization. In age-related macular degeneration, there is increasing evidence that reduced blood flow in the choroid is associated with the development and progression of the disease. Knowledge of the pathophysiological vascular states underlying these diseases is essential for the assessment and development of future therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Ciliary Arteries / physiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Ophthalmic Artery / physiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Retinal Artery / physiology*