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C E Riva, J E Grunwald, S H Sinclair, B L Petrig; Blood velocity and volumetric flow rate in human retinal vessels.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1985;26(8):1124-1132.
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The distributions of blood velocity and volumetric flow rate in individual vessels of the normal human retina were determined as a function of vessel diameter. The mean velocity of blood, Vmean, was calculated from the centerline velocity measured by bidirectional laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV). Volumetric flow rate was determined from Vmean and the vessel diameter, D, measured from monochromatic fundus photographs. Diameter of the arteries and veins at the site of the LDV measurements ranged from 39 to 134 microns and 64 to 177 microns, respectively. Flow velocity correlated with D (P less than 0.001 for both arteries and veins). Volumetric flow rate varied with D at a power of 2.76 +/- 0.16 for arteries and 2.84 +/- 0.12 for veins, in close agreement with Murray's law. Calculated from 12 eyes, the average total arterial and venous volumetric flow rates were 33 +/- 9.6 and 34 +/- 6.3 microliters/min, respectively. The good agreement between both flow rates suggests that the technique and the assumptions for calculating flow yield results that satisfy mass conservation. Total arterial and venous volumetric flow rates correlated with total arterial and venous vessel cross-section. Volumetric flow rate in the temporal retina was significantly greater than in the nasal retina, but the difference is likely to be due to the larger area of the temporal retina. No difference in flow rate was observed between the superior and inferior retinal hemispheres. Finally, blood velocity in the major retinal vessels measured under normal experimental conditions appears remarkably constant over short (hours) and long (months) periods of time.
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