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W H Morgan, D Y Yu, R L Cooper, V A Alder, S J Cringle, I J Constable; The influence of cerebrospinal fluid pressure on the lamina cribrosa tissue pressure gradient.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(6):1163-1172.
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PURPOSE: To measure the tissue pressure gradient through the optic disk and to determine the relationship between intraocular, cerebrospinal fluid, and retrolaminar tissue pressures. The relationship of optic nerve subarachnoid space pressure to intracranial cerebrospinal fluid pressure also was explored. METHODS: Micropipettes coupled to a pressure transducer were passed through pars plana and vitreous to enter the optic disk in the anesthetized dog. Using a micromanipulator, pipettes penetrated the optic disk in steps while pressure measurements were taken. In some animals, pipettes also were passed into the optic nerve subarachnoid space. Lateral ventricle cerebrospinal fluid pressure, intraocular pressure, and arterial blood pressure were measured concurrently, and the effect of raising CSF pressure was explored. RESULTS: Retrolaminar tissue pressure was largely dependent on the surrounding cerebrospinal fluid pressure, which was on average 8.6 +/- 3.5 mm Hg (SD, n = 8) higher, and was independent of intraocular pressure. Most (85% +/- 15% [SD, n = 8]) of the pressure drop between intraocular pressure and retrolaminar pressure occurred across the anterior 400 microns of disk tissue. When the intraocular pressure was 21 mm Hg and the cerebrospinal fluid pressure was zero, retrolaminar tissue pressure averaged 7 mm Hg and the translaminar pressure gradient was 3.08 +/- 0.29 mm Hg/100 microns tissue (SD, n = 3). Optic nerve subarachnoid space pressure was equivalent to lateral ventricular pressure. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that cerebrospinal fluid pressure largely determines retrolaminar tissue pressure; hence, along with intraocular pressure, it is of major importance in setting the translaminar tissue pressure gradient. Results also demonstrate hydrostatic continuity between the optic nerve subarachnoid space and the lateral ventricle. That the translaminar pressure gradient can vary independently of intraocular pressure may be of importance in understanding the pathophysiology of glaucoma.
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