Choroidal and ciliary body blood flow analysis: application of laser Doppler flowmetry in experimental animals

Exp Eye Res. 1991 Aug;53(2):151-6. doi: 10.1016/0014-4835(91)90068-p.


Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) measures the flux of red blood cells in a vascular network embedded in tissue. In the present report, choroidal and ciliary body blood flow was measured continuously using an LDF technique in pentobarbital anesthetized cats. Blood flow measurements were made from the choroid beneath the lateral and superior rectus muscles and from the surface above the ciliary body 2-3 mm posterior to the limbus. In some experiments, the sympathetic nerve to the eye was stimulated; in others, intraocular pressure (IOP) was monitored manometrically with a controlled saline infusion delivered into the anterior chamber to gradually elevate IOP. Norepinephrine (NE) and methacholine (MC) also were tested for their effects on choroidal blood flow when given intravenously and intra-arterially. Transient bilateral carotid artery occlusions produced a significant drop in blood flow, but flow did not decrease to zero probably due to collateral contribution of the vertebral circulation. Sympathetic nerve stimulation produced a frequency-dependent decrease in both choroidal and ciliary body blood flow with the latter exhibiting a lower threshold and a greater magnitude of effect. Gradual elevation of IOP produced a proportional decrease in choroidal blood flow. The level of intraocular pressure required to decrease blood flow was dependent on the existing ocular perfusion pressure. Both intravenous and intra-arterially administered NE produced dose-dependent decreases of choroidal blood flow despite graded increases of systemic arterial blood pressure. In contrast, MC produced dose-dependent increases of choroidal blood flow in conjunction with graded decreases of systemic blood pressure. The results of the present report demonstrate the validity of the LDF technique for performing continuous reading of blood flow changes in the choroid and ciliary body of experimental animals.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology
  • Cats
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Ciliary Body / blood supply*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eye / innervation
  • Female
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride / pharmacology
  • Norepinephrine / pharmacology
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology


  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Norepinephrine