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Xin Chen, Chao Sun, Luoxiu Huang, Tiande Shou; Selective Loss of Orientation Column Maps in Visual Cortex during Brief Elevation of Intraocular Pressure. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(1):435-441. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0194.
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purpose. To compare the orientation column maps elicited by different spatial frequency gratings in cortical area 17 of cats before and during brief elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP).
methods. IOP was elevated by injecting saline into the anterior chamber of a cat’s eye through a syringe needle. The IOP was elevated enough to cause a retinal perfusion pressure (arterial pressure minus IOP) of approximately 30 mm Hg during a brief elevation of IOP. The visual stimulus gratings were varied in spatial frequency, whereas other parameters were kept constant. The orientation column maps of the cortical area 17 were monocularly elicited by drifting gratings of different spatial frequencies and revealed by a brain intrinsic signal optical imaging system. These maps were compared before and during short-term elevation of IOP.
results. The response amplitude of the orientation maps in area 17 decreased during a brief elevation of IOP. This decrease was dependent on the retinal perfusion pressure but not on the absolute IOP. The location of the most visible maps was spatial-frequency dependent. The blurring or loss of the pattern of the orientation maps was most severe when high-spatial-frequency gratings were used and appeared most significantly on the posterior part of the exposed cortex while IOP was elevated. However, the basic patterns of the maps remained unchanged. Changes in cortical signal were not due to changes in the optics of the eye with elevation of IOP.
conclusions. A stable normal IOP is essential for maintaining normal visual cortical functions. During a brief and high elevation of IOP, the cortical processing of high-spatial-frequency visual information was diminished because of a selectively functional decline of the retinogeniculocortical X pathway by a mechanism of retinal circulation origin.
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