Vascular Aspects in the Pathophysiology of Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy

Vascular Aspects in the Pathophysiology of Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy Glaucoma remains a major eye illness with unknown etiology. Although elevated intraocular pressure is clearly a major risk factor, vascular deficits may contribute to initiation and progression of glaucoma. When intraocular pressure is acutely elevated in healthy individuals, the resistance index (derived from the peak systolic and end-diastolic velocities and an indirect index of vascular resistance distal to the site of measurement) in the central retinal and posterior ciliary arteries increases progressively. This result implies that mechanical and vascular factors may be coupled in such a way that perfusion of the retina and optic nerve head may be influenced by changes in the intraocular pressure. Further, at night, when ophthalmic artery flow velocities fall as arterial blood pressure falls in glaucoma patients, the risk of disease progression may be increased. The constancy of these same flow velocities in age-matched healthy individuals points to a possible vascular autoregulatory defect in glaucoma. In addition, in normal-tension glaucoma, vasodilation (CO 2 inhalation) normalizes retrobulbar arterial flow velocities, hinting that some vascular deficits in glaucoma may be reversible. Finally, Ca 2 + channel blockade improves contrast sensitivity in patients with normal-tension glaucoma, who also show increased retrobulbar vessel flow velocities, a result suggesting that visual function loss may be linked to ocular ischemia. Emerging evidence points to a role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, suggesting that treatments designed to improve ocular blood flow may benefit glaucoma patients. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Survey of Ophthalmology Elsevier

Vascular Aspects in the Pathophysiology of Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
ISSN
0039-6257
DOI
10.1016/S0039-6257(99)00050-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Glaucoma remains a major eye illness with unknown etiology. Although elevated intraocular pressure is clearly a major risk factor, vascular deficits may contribute to initiation and progression of glaucoma. When intraocular pressure is acutely elevated in healthy individuals, the resistance index (derived from the peak systolic and end-diastolic velocities and an indirect index of vascular resistance distal to the site of measurement) in the central retinal and posterior ciliary arteries increases progressively. This result implies that mechanical and vascular factors may be coupled in such a way that perfusion of the retina and optic nerve head may be influenced by changes in the intraocular pressure. Further, at night, when ophthalmic artery flow velocities fall as arterial blood pressure falls in glaucoma patients, the risk of disease progression may be increased. The constancy of these same flow velocities in age-matched healthy individuals points to a possible vascular autoregulatory defect in glaucoma. In addition, in normal-tension glaucoma, vasodilation (CO 2 inhalation) normalizes retrobulbar arterial flow velocities, hinting that some vascular deficits in glaucoma may be reversible. Finally, Ca 2 + channel blockade improves contrast sensitivity in patients with normal-tension glaucoma, who also show increased retrobulbar vessel flow velocities, a result suggesting that visual function loss may be linked to ocular ischemia. Emerging evidence points to a role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, suggesting that treatments designed to improve ocular blood flow may benefit glaucoma patients.

Journal

Survey of OphthalmologyElsevier

Published: Jun 1, 1999

References

  • The epidemiology and control of open-angle glaucoma
    Tielsch, J.M.

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