Purpose: A vascular basis for the pathogenesis of primary open angle glaucoma has been postulated for many years. Defects in the regulation of ocular blood flow may be the initiating factor in this group of multifactorial diseases. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of vasospasm on ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) in low tension glaucoma (LTG) patients.
Methods: OPA, using the Langham Ocular Blood Flow (OBF) System, applanation intraocular pressure (IOP), systemic blood pressure and heart rate were measured and vasospasm was determined by a fingernail capillary blood flow test.
Results: OPA (mmHg) in the LTG patients with a vasospastic reaction (LTG-V, 1.4 +/- 0.1, n = 17) was not significantly (p > 0.09) different when compared with non-vasospastic LTG patients (LTG-NV, 1.5 +/- 0.2, n = 15) but was significantly (p < 0.001) reduced in LTG-V and LTG-NV patients when compared with matched healthy control subgroups (2.3 +/- 0.2 and 2.4 +/- 0.3, respectively). IOP (mmHg) in LTG-V (13.3 +/- 0.4) and LTG-NV (13.2 +/- 0.5) patient groups was not significantly (p > 0.05) different when compared with each other, but was significantly (p < 0.05) lower when compared with matched control subgroups (15.0 +/- 0.3 and 15.2 +/- 0.4, respectively). Haemodynamic parameters were not significantly different from controls.
Conclusion: The abnormality in choroidal perfusion indicated by a reduction in OPA in all LTG patients is unrelated to the presence or absence of vasospasm.