Purpose: This study was designed to assess the correlation between flow velocity, the resistive index and visual field defects in patients with chronic open angle glaucoma in comparison with a nonglaucomatous control population.
Methods: Color Doppler imaging was used to study flow velocity in the central retinal artery and short posterior ciliary arteries of 76 patients with chronic open angle glaucoma and 28 normal subjects. Velocity and resistive index were correlated with visual field abnormalities.
Results: The chronic open angle glaucoma patients showed a statistically significant lowering of the end diastolic velocity and a raised resistive index in all vessels studied. The end diastolic velocity of the central retinal arteries of glaucoma patients were significantly correlated with the Mean Deviation of the visual field (right eye, p = 0.0041; left eye, p = 0.0167). The glaucoma patients showed a statistically significant lowering of the end diastolic velocity and a raised resistive index in all vessels supplying those parts of the optic disc that corresponded to visual hemifield defects.
Conclusion: Open angle glaucoma is associated with changes in central retinal and ciliary artery flow velocity and resistive index which suggest a compromised circulation in this region.