A comparative study of the effects of timolol and latanoprost on blood flow velocity of the retrobulbar vessels

Am J Ophthalmol. 1996 Dec;122(6):784-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)70374-5.


Purpose: To examine the effects of topical timolol and latanoprost on retrobulbar vessel blood velocity in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Methods: Nine patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and six patients with ocular hypertension were enrolled for this study. All patients were treated topically with 0.5% timolol or 0.005% latanoprost, using a double-masked crossover design with a 3-week washout before administration of each drug. Each patient had a baseline color Doppler imaging ultrasound of the central retinal artery, short posterior ciliary arteries, and ophthalmic artery and two other ultrasound examinations during the 1-week treatment with each drug, performed 12 hours after the first dose of the drug and 12 hours after the last dose, 7 days later.

Results: Both topical timolol and topical latanoprost significantly reduced the intraocular pressure. The only significant change observed in the retrobulbar blood velocity with timolol was a reduction of end diastolic velocity in the ophthalmic artery 12 hours after the first dose, accompanied by a trend toward a decrease in the peak systolic velocity and an increase in the resistance index in the same vessel. No change in blood velocity was observed with latanoprost.

Conclusion: Topical timolol and latanoprost significantly reduced the intraocular pressure in ocular hypertensive and glaucoma patients without creating substantial hemodynamic changes in the retrobulbar vessels.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Ciliary Body / blood supply
  • Ciliary Body / diagnostic imaging
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / drug therapy
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Latanoprost
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Ocular Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Ophthalmic Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Ophthalmic Artery / physiology
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Orbit / blood supply*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic / administration & dosage
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic / therapeutic use*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Retinal Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Retinal Artery / physiology
  • Timolol / administration & dosage
  • Timolol / therapeutic use*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic
  • Latanoprost
  • Timolol