June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Limbal capillary perfusion and blood flow velocity as a potential biomarker for evaluating dry eye
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jianhua Wang
    Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Inst Lib, Miami, FL
  • Hong Jiang
    Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Inst Lib, Miami, FL
  • Aizhu Tao
    Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Inst Lib, Miami, FL
    Ophthalmology and Optometry, School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, China
  • Delia DeBuc
    Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Inst Lib, Miami, FL
  • Yilei Shao
    Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Inst Lib, Miami, FL
    Ophthalmology and Optometry, School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, China
  • Jianguang Zhong
    Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Inst Lib, Miami, FL
    Ophthalmology, Hangzhou First People’s Hospital, Hangzhou, China
  • Sandra Pineda
    Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Inst Lib, Miami, FL
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Jianhua Wang, NIH (F), RPB (F); Hong Jiang, NIH (F); Aizhu Tao, None; Delia DeBuc, NIH/NEI-EY020607 (F), NIH Center Core Grant P30EY014801 (F), NIH R01EY020607S (F), Department of Defense (DOD- Grant#W81XWH-09-1-0675) (F), US 61/139,082 (P); Yilei Shao, None; Jianguang Zhong, None; Sandra Pineda, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 4335. doi:https://doi.org/
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      Jianhua Wang, Hong Jiang, Aizhu Tao, Delia DeBuc, Yilei Shao, Jianguang Zhong, Sandra Pineda; Limbal capillary perfusion and blood flow velocity as a potential biomarker for evaluating dry eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):4335. doi: https://doi.org/.

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

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic inflammation of the ocular surface due to lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture. As a result, an individual suffering from the dry eye syndrome will experience uncomfortable symptoms of dryness, itchiness, and a burning sensation in the eyes. The goal of this study was to develop a sensitive biomarker to quantitatively evaluate the severity in dry eyes by imaging limbal capillary perfusion and calculating the velocity of blood flow.

 
Methods
 

A retinal function imager (RFI, Optical Imaging Ltd, Rehovot, Israel) was used to capture reflectance changes as a function of time under stroboscopic illumination. The system was further adapted from its original use of retinal imaging to being utilized in anterior surface imaging. Hemoglobin in red blood cells was used as an intrinsic motion-contrast agent in the generation of detailed noninvasive capillary-perfusion maps (nCPMs) and the calculation of the velocity of blood flow. Nine healthy subjects (3 males and 6 females, age 29.8 ± 10.4 years) and nine previously diagnosed dry eye patients (4 males and 5 females, age 51.0 ± 17.5 years) were recruited. The temporal conjunctivas of the patient’s right eyes were imaged with the RFI device. The velocity of blood flow in arteries and veins was measured at selected vessel segments in the temporal conjunctivas.

 
Results
 

The nCPMs showed capillaries in exquisite detail on the limbal region and the limbal region appeared as a random distribution of branching, overlapping, and crossing vessels (Fig. 1A). The velocity of blood flow (Fig. 1B) in conjunctival arteries was 0.71 ± 0.09 (mean ± SD, mm/s) and 0.80 ± 0.11 mm/s, for normal and dry eye patients, respectively (p < 0.05). The blood flow velocities in conjunctival veins were 0.69 ± 0.08 mm/s and 0.81 ± 0.16 mm/s, for normal and dry eye patients, respectively (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in blood flow velocities between arteries and veins in each group (P > 0.05).

 
Conclusions
 

This pilot study demonstrated for the first time that blood flow velocity of the conjunctiva may be altered in dry eye patients, which might be a possible biomarker for evaluating dry eye severity and treatment efficacy. This potential biomarker may also provide a window into dry eye causes and pave the way for more specific tracking methods of dry eye endpoints in humans for the purpose of new drug approval.

  
Keywords: 474 conjunctiva • 486 cornea: tears/tear film/dry eye • 436 blood supply  
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