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S. H. Hardarson, O. B. Olafsdottir, R. A. Karlsson, J. M. Beach, T. Eysteinsson, J. A. Benediktsson, E. Stefánsson; Retinal Vessel Oxygen Saturation in Patients With Diabetic Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1328.
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To measure oxygen saturation in retinal vessels in patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR).
The retinal oximeter (Oxymap ehf., Reykjavik, Iceland) is composed of a fundus camera, beam splitter and light filters. Specialized software calculates oxygen saturation from light absorption at two wavelenghts of light (605nm and 586nm). One first or second degree arteriole and venule was measured in one eye of 31 healthy individual and 28 patients with diabetic retinopathy. Statistical analysis was performed with one-way ANOVA and Dunnett’s post test. The image below shows retinal oxygen saturation in a patient with proliferative DR.
The table shows relative percent oxygen saturation (mean±SD) in healthy individuals and in patients with DR.
In both arterioles and venules, the oxygen saturation was significantly higher in each group of DR patients than in healthy individuals (p<0.05). The arteriovenous difference is similar in all groups.
Although DR is thought to involve retinal hypoxia, retinal vessel oxygen saturation is higher in patients with DR than in healthy individuals. Hypothetical explanations include shunting of blood from arterioles to venules, increased blood flow, degeneration of tissue and decreased diffusion of oxygen through thicker vessel walls.
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