March 2012
Volume 53, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   March 2012
Structural analysis of small vessels In The Human Retina : an adaptive optics study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michel Paques
    Clinical Investigation Center 503, Quinze-Vingts Hospital, INSERM, Paris, France
  • Kiyoko Nakashima
    Clinical Investigation Center 503, Quinze-Vingts Hospital, INSERM, Paris, France
  • Florence Rossant
    ISEP, Paris, France
  • Jose A. Sahel
    UMR-S 968, Institut de la Vision, Paris, France
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Michel Paques, None; Kiyoko Nakashima, None; Florence Rossant, None; Jose A. Sahel, member of scientific advisory bord of ImagineEye (S)
  • Footnotes
    Support  ANR TecSan 09-009 iPhot
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2012, Vol.53, 5655. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Michel Paques, Kiyoko Nakashima, Florence Rossant, Jose A. Sahel; Structural analysis of small vessels In The Human Retina : an adaptive optics study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):5655.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: : Small arteries and veins form a complex, multifunctional network which, beside blood flow distribution, plays a pivotal role in hemodynamic homeostasis and in cellular and metabolic exchanges. Morphological changes affecting the wall of small arteries are surrogates of end-organ damage due to aging, diabetes and/or hypertension, yet these changes have not been directly observed in vivo in humans since fundus photographs only allows viewing the red cell column. Here, we analyzed the structure of retinal vessels in humans using adaptive optics (AO) imaging.

Methods: : The retinal vessels of 5 healthy subjects, 5 arterial hypertensive patients and one uveitis patient were analyzed by computerized analysis of infrared (850nm) AO images (rtx1 camera; ImagineEye, Orsay, France).

Results: : On AO images the wall of small arteries (inner diameter ~ 50-150 µm) could be resolved. Composite imaging allowed reconstruction of vessel pathways over several millimeter length. In healthy, normotensive subjects, the wall-to-lumen ratio (WLR) ranged from 19 to 23% and was not correlated to diameter. Branching topology of arterioles was in general agreement with the principle of minimal work down to the 3rd branching order. The wall of veins could not be clearly identified. Age and hypertension were accompanied by an increase of WLR (up to 40%) and by an increased incidence of local irregularities of the lumen diameter. In the uveitis patient, AO objectivated thickening of both arterial and venous walls.

Conclusions: : Because of its ability to resolve the wall of small vessels, AO fundus imaging offers a unique opportunity for investigating fundamental and clinical aspects of the human microcirculation. Our finding of a concomitant increase of WLR and lumen irregularities during aging and hypertension challenges the classic concept of distinct eutrophic versus hypertrophic remodeling of the wall of small arteries. Other diseases affecting vessels such as diabetes and vasculitis may also benefit from AO imaging.

Keywords: retina • aging • anatomy 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.