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Jonathan E. Noonan, Thanh T. Nguyen, Ryan E. K. Man, William J. Best, Jie Jin Wang, Ecosse L. Lamoureux; Retinal Arteriolar Dilation to Flicker Light Is Reduced on Short-Term Retesting. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(12):7764-7768. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-12525.
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To investigate the impact of retesting frequency over a short period on flicker light–induced retinal vasodilation.
Twenty healthy participants were included. The retinal vascular response to flicker light stimulation was assessed three times (at baseline and after 5 and 30 minutes of rest [tests 1, 2, and 3, respectively]) in each participant using the Dynamic Vessel Analyzer. Relative dilations of selected arteriole and venule segments during flicker stimulation and resting diameters were measured automatically. The mean vessel dilations and resting diameters were compared using repeated-measures analysis of variance.
Participants were young (mean [SD] age, 33.1 [5.7] years) and mostly female (70%). The mean (SD) maximum arteriolar dilations during flicker stimulation were 3.23% (2.06%), 2.44% (1.62%), and 3.36% (2.11%) in tests 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The mean (SD) venular dilations were 4.26% (1.28%), 3.81% (1.61%), and 4.43% (1.73%) in tests 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The mean arteriolar dilations were significantly different across the three tests (P < 0.001). Compared with test 1, arteriolar dilations were significantly reduced after 5 minutes (P = 0.008) but not 30 minutes (P = 0.437) of rest. No significant differences were found over time for the mean venular dilations (P = 0.128). Resting diameters of selected vessels were not significantly different between tests.
Retinal arteriolar dilation during flicker stimulation is reduced on short-term retesting, without a significant change in baseline vessel diameter, indicating decreased responsiveness to the flicker stimulus. Researchers should allow at least 30 minutes between consecutive tests to minimize suppression of the flicker response.
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