December 1969
Volume 8, Issue 6
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Articles  |   December 1969
Oxygen supply to the retina from the retinal and choroidal circulations at normal and increased arterial oxygen tensions
Author Affiliations
  • C. T. DOLLERY
    Department of Medicine, Royal Postgraduate Medical School Ducane Road, London, W.12, England
  • C. J. BULPITT
    Department of Medicine, Royal Postgraduate Medical School Ducane Road, London, W.12, England
  • EVA M. KOHNER
    Department of Medicine, Royal Postgraduate Medical School Ducane Road, London, W.12, England
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 1969, Vol.8, 588-594. doi:
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      C. T. DOLLERY, C. J. BULPITT, EVA M. KOHNER; Oxygen supply to the retina from the retinal and choroidal circulations at normal and increased arterial oxygen tensions. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1969;8(6):588-594.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

During oxygen breathing small retinal vessels constrict severely and retinal bloodflow drops to less than half the value on air. This paper contains a quantitative explanation of why this occurs based on published figures for the arteriovenous oxygen difference and blood flow in the retinal and choroidal circulations. The choroid has a high blood flow and a low arteriovenous oxygen difference. Once the arterial oxygen tension, paO2, rises to about 270 mm. Hg, the intake of the oxygen extraction from the choroidal blood can be metfrom dissolved oxygen. When paO2 rises above this level the oxygen tension in the choroidal tissue and venous blood rises in step with it because the capacity of reduced hemoglobin to buffer changes in oxygen pressure is lost. At a paO2. of 400 mm. Hg, 97 per cent of the retina between the choriocapillaris and the deep retinal capillaries is supplied with oxygen from the choroid compared with 60 per cent on air. At higher values of paO2 there is a delivery of oxygen from the choroid to the deep retinal capillaries and under hyperbaric oxygen almost the whole thickness of retina could be supplied with oxygen from the choroid alone.

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