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C E Riva, J E Grunwald, S H Sinclair; Laser Doppler measurement of relative blood velocity in the human optic nerve head.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1982;22(2):241-248. doi: https://doi.org/.
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The Doppler shift frequency spectrum (DSFS) of laser light scattered from red blood cells (RBCs) moving in the microcirculation of the optic nerve head has been recorded in normal volunteers by means of a fundus camera laser Doppler velocimeter. The width of the DSFS, which varies in proportion to the speed of the RBCs, has been characterized by a parameter alpha. With the use of a model for the scattering of light by tissue and RBCs and for the RBC velocity distribution, values of alpha recorded at normal intraocular pressure (IOP) suggest that the RBCs that contribute to the Doppler signal are flowing in capillaries. The parameter alpha was found to vary markedly with the IOP and with the phase of the ocular pressure pulse at elevated IOP. The return of the speed of RBCs toward normal, which is observed after a step increase of IOP above normal and after a step decrease below normal, has been attributed to an autoregulatory response of the optic nerve circulation.
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