Purpose: To evaluate ocular blood flow velocity indices in untreated primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and normal pressure glaucoma (NPG).
Methods: Twenty-five untreated patients with NPG, 23 untreated patients with POAG, and 26 age-matched normal control subjects underwent color Doppler imaging for the measurement of blood flow velocity in the central retinal and ophthalmic arteries. Neither the patients nor the control subjects were using systemic beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers. After log transformation of non-normal data, group differences were compared with a one-way analysis of variance followed by unpaired t-test with the Bonferroni correction. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Results: The central retinal artery end diastolic velocity was significantly lower in patients with POAG than in normal subjects. The ophthalmic artery peak systolic velocity (PSV) was significantly greater in patients with POAG than in those with NPG and normal subjects. The resistance index (RI) of both the ophthalmic and central retinal arteries was significantly greater in patients with POAG than in normal subjects, and the central retinal artery RI was significantly greater in those with NPG than in normal subjects. Systemic pulse pressure and systolic blood pressure were significantly greater in patients with POAG compared with normal subjects. Multiple regression analysis showed a significant relation between ophthalmic artery PSV and intraocular pressure (but not with any of the cardiovascular parameters) in the POAG group. Chi-square analysis found significantly more systemic vascular disease in patients with NPG and POAG compared with that of normal subjects.
Conclusions: There was an increased resistance to blood flow in the central retinal artery of untreated patients with NPG and POAG and also in the ophthalmic artery of patients with POAG. The ophthalmic artery peak systolic velocity was elevated in untreated patients with POAG. Altered ocular circulation (with different patterns of presentation) appears to be common to patients with NPG and patients with POAG.