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Jonathan E. Noonan, Gregory J. Dusting, Thanh T. Nguyen, Ryan E. K. Man, William J. Best, Ecosse L. Lamoureux; Flicker-Induced Retinal Arteriole Dilation Is Reduced by Ambient Lighting. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(9):5476-5481. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-14940.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the impact of ambient room lighting on the magnitude of flicker light–induced retinal vasodilations in healthy individuals.
Twenty healthy nonsmokers participated in a balanced 2 × 2 crossover study. Retinal vascular imaging was performed with the dynamic vessel analyzer under reduced or normal ambient lighting, then again after 20 minutes under the alternate condition. Baseline calibers of selected arteriole and venule segments were recorded in measurement units. Maximum percentage dilations from baseline during 20 seconds of luminance flicker were calculated from the mean of three measurement cycles. Within-subject differences were assessed by repeated measures analysis of variance with the assumption of no carryover effects and pairwise comparisons from the fitted model.
Mean (SD) maximum arteriole dilations during flicker stimulation under reduced and normal ambient lighting were 4.8% (2.3%) and 4.1% (1.9%), respectively (P = 0.019). Maximum arteriole dilations were (mean ± 95% confidence interval) 0.7% ± 0.6% lower under normal ambient lighting compared with reduced lighting. Ambient lighting had no significant effect on maximum venular dilations during flicker stimulation or on the baseline calibers of arterioles or venules.
Retinal arteriole dilation in response to luminance flicker stimulation is reduced under higher ambient lighting conditions. Reduced responses with higher ambient lighting may reflect reduced contrast between the ON and OFF flicker phases. Although it may not always be feasible to conduct studies under reduced lighting conditions, ambient lighting levels should be consistent to ensure that comparisons are valid.
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