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R H Silverman, D E Kruse, D J Coleman, K W Ferrara; High-resolution ultrasonic imaging of blood flow in the anterior segment of the eye.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(7):1373-1381.
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PURPOSE: To develop a noninvasive technique to visualize and measure blood flow in the iris and ciliary body. METHODS: Echo data from 50-MHz ultrasound scans of the iris and ciliary body of rabbits were digitized using a new "swept scan" modality. The method makes use of spatial oversampling to identify regions with scatterers whose range changes with time. The data allowed construction of high-resolution B-mode images with embedded flow information. Pulsatility over the cardiac cycle was evaluated by sending a series of pulses along a single line of sight containing a vessel of interest. Local blood flow and changes over the cardiac cycle before and after application of atropine were quantified. RESULTS: Flow was identified in the radial vessels and major arterial circle of the iris. Vessels with lumens as small as 40 microm in diameter and flow velocities as low as 0.6 mm/sec were measured. Change in blood velocity over the cardiac cycle was determined to be approximately 27%. Peak systolic velocity after administration of topical atropine increased by 72%. CONCLUSIONS: This technique allowed visualization of flow using the same type of very-high-frequency transducer now widely used for imaging the anterior segment. The technique can also be used at lower frequencies for more posterior tissues with similar improvement of resolution over Doppler. The ability to examine flow in the anterior segment of the eye offers a new tool for study of glaucoma, hypotony, tumors, and other disorders.
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