Narrowing of the retinal arterioles in descending optic atrophy. A quantitative clinical study

Ophthalmology. 1984 Nov;91(11):1342-6. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(84)34144-6.


Measurements were made on fundus photographs of the diameters of retinal arterioles in a series of cases with various nonvascular lesions of the anterior visual pathways, before and after the development of fundus signs of optic atrophy. A simple method was devised for reliable estimation of the diameter of the central retinal artery whenever this vessel could not be measured directly: this allowed comparisons to be made between different eyes, irrespective of individual variations in arteriolar branching patterns. Atrophy was consistently associated with a decrease in central retinal artery caliber, averaging 24% in eyes developing total optic atrophy, and 17% in eyes with hemi-atrophy. Normal controls showed a maximum side difference of 8%.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arterioles / pathology
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Optic Atrophy / pathology*
  • Photography
  • Retina / blood supply*
  • Retinal Artery / pathology