September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Increased Velocity of Retinal Blood Flow in RP subjects with Significantly Improved Visual Function following Transcorneal Electrical Stimulation in a Randomized Controlled Trial
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ava Katherine Bittner
    College of Optometry, Nova Southeastern University , Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States
  • Kenneth R Seger
    College of Optometry, Nova Southeastern University , Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States
  • Samantha Kayser
    College of Optometry, Nova Southeastern University , Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States
  • J C Ramella-Roman
    Florida International University , Miami, Florida, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Ava Bittner, None; Kenneth Seger, None; Samantha Kayser, None; J Ramella-Roman, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH Grant R21 EY023720
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 144. doi:
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      Ava Katherine Bittner, Kenneth R Seger, Samantha Kayser, J C Ramella-Roman; Increased Velocity of Retinal Blood Flow in RP subjects with Significantly Improved Visual Function following Transcorneal Electrical Stimulation in a Randomized Controlled Trial. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):144.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Purpose : To examine the repeatability of and changes in retinal blood velocity (RBV) in the macular capillaries of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) participants in a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of Transcorneal Electrical Stimulation (TES) for improving visual function.

Methods : Four eyes of 3 TES subjects who developed significantly improved visual function (i.e., >0.4 logMAR visual acuity or >100% log retinal area of Goldmann visual fields) and six other eyes that received TES but did not have a significant visual function change were compared to 3 control subjects’ eyes that received placebo sham intervention (inactive laser acupuncture). Coefficients of variation (CoV) for RBV were measured at 2 baseline visits, as well as after 2 and 6 weeks of TES/intervention sessions. We used a retinal blood cell tracking system similar to a speckle imaging system; it relies on tracking the non-uniform distribution of red blood cells within the capillary and is capable of dealing with very low signal-to-noise ratios.

Results : CoV for RBV were 5% and 8% on average within a single vessel location in an image for arteries and veins, respectively. Test-retest CoV were 13% on average within a single artery or vein location for 2 within-visit or between baseline visit images. The eyes with and without visual improvements had a significant 32% and 19% increase in RBV on average in arteries, respectively, after 2 TES sessions when compared to control eyes (95%CI:16-48%;p<0.001)(95%CI:0.3-38%;p=0.047). The eyes with visual improvements had a significant 31% increase in RBV in veins after 2 TES sessions (95%CI:4-59%;p=0.02), but those without visual changes had no significant RBV change in veins (p=0.70) compared to control eyes. For eyes with improved vision, the increases in RBV were slightly reduced after 6 TES sessions to 14% and 24% in arteries and veins (p=0.18 and p=0.07), respectively, and RBV was not significantly different than controls for eyes that did not improve post-TES after 6 weekly intervention sessions (p=0.68 and p=0.95).

Conclusions : RBV measurements in RP patients are reliable outcomes supporting a physiological basis for visual function improvements in RP subjects who received TES.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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