Parafoveal retinal vascular response to pattern visual stimulation assessed with OCT angiography

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 2;8(12):e81343. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081343. eCollection 2013.


We used optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography with a high-speed swept-source OCT system to investigate retinal blood flow changes induced by visual stimulation with a reversing checkerboard pattern. The split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography (SSADA) algorithm was used to quantify blood flow as measured with parafoveal flow index (PFI), which is proportional to the density of blood vessels and the velocity of blood flow in the parafoveal region of the macula. PFI measurements were taken in 15 second intervals during a 4 minute period consisting of 1 minute of baseline, 2 minutes with an 8 Hz reversing checkerboard pattern stimulation, and 1 minute without stimulation. PFI measurements increased 6.1±4.7% (p = .001) during the first minute of stimulation, with the most significant increase in PFI occurring 30 seconds into stimulation (p<0.001). These results suggest that pattern stimulation induces a change to retinal blood flow that can be reliably measured with OCT angiography.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Vessels / cytology
  • Retinal Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*