Color Doppler imaging and spectral analysis of the optic nerve vasculature in glaucoma

Am J Ophthalmol. 1995 Jun;119(6):685-93. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)72771-0.


Purpose: We used color Doppler imaging to study blood flow velocity in the central retinal artery and the short posterior ciliary arteries in patients with glaucoma.

Method: Fifty-two patients with chronic open-angle glaucoma, 24 patients with normal-tension glaucoma, and 28 normal subjects were studied. The mean of the peak systolic velocity, the end diastolic velocity, and the resistive index were compared in the three groups.

Results: Compared with the normal subjects, the patients with chronic open-angle glaucoma showed a statistically significant (P < .05) decrease in the mean end diastolic velocity and an increase in the mean resistive index in all vessels studied. The patients with normal-tension glaucoma showed similar changes, achieving significance most prominently in the central retinal arteries, compared with normal subjects (P < .05). There were no statistically significant differences between the patients with chronic open-angle glaucoma and those with normal-tension glaucoma.

Conclusions: Open-angle glaucoma appears to be associated with a decreased mean flow velocity and an increased mean resistive index in the ocular vasculature. These changes are in keeping with possibly compromised circulation in this region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Ciliary Body / blood supply*
  • Ciliary Body / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnostic imaging
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Nerve / blood supply*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Retinal Artery / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color*