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Leon C. Ho, Ian P. Conner, Chi-Wai Do, Seong-Gi Kim, Ed X. Wu, Gadi Wollstein, Joel S. Schuman, Kevin C. Chan; In Vivo Assessment of Aqueous Humor Dynamics Upon Chronic Ocular Hypertension and Hypotensive Drug Treatment Using Gadolinium-Enhanced MRI. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(6):3747-3757. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-14263.
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Although glaucoma treatments alter aqueous humor (AH) dynamics to lower intraocular pressure, the regulatory mechanisms of AH circulation and their contributions to the pathogenesis of ocular hypertension and glaucoma remain unclear. We hypothesized that gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (Gd-MRI) can visualize and assess AH dynamics upon sustained intraocular pressure elevation and pharmacologic interventions.
Gadolinium contrast agent was systemically administered to adult rats to mimic soluble AH components entering the anterior chamber (AC) via blood–aqueous barrier. Dynamic Gd-MRI was applied to examine the signal enhancement in AC and vitreous body upon microbead-induced ocular hypertension and unilateral topical applications of latanoprost, timolol maleate, and brimonidine tartrate to healthy eyes.
Gadolinium signal time courses in microbead-induced hypertensive eyes possessed faster initial gadolinium uptake and higher peak signals in AC than control eyes, reflective of reduced gadolinium clearance upon microbead occlusion. Opposite trends were observed in latanoprost- and timolol-treated eyes, indicative of their respective drug actions on increased uveoscleral outflow and reduced AH production. The slowest initial gadolinium uptake but strongest peak signals were found in AC of both brimonidine-treated and untreated fellow eyes. These findings drew attention to the systemic effects of topical hypotensive drug treatment. Gadolinium leaked into the vitreous of microbead-induced hypertensive eyes and brimonidine-treated and untreated fellow eyes, suggestive of a compromise of aqueous–vitreous or blood–ocular barrier integrity.
Gadolinium-enhanced MRI allows spatiotemporal and quantitative evaluation of altered AH dynamics and ocular tissue permeability for better understanding the physiological mechanisms of ocular hypertension and the efficacy of antiglaucoma drug treatments.
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