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S. Traustason, A. S. Jensen, H. S. Arvidsson, I. C. Munch, L. Søndergaard, M. Larsen; Retinal Oxygenation in Patients With Systemic Hypoxia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5037.
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To assess the effect of chronic systemic hypoxia on retinal oxygenation.
Ten patients in total were recruited, 9 of which were diagnosed with Eisenmenger’s syndrome (bidirectional cardiac shunt caused by a ventricular septal defect) and one patient with vena cava to pulmonary artery anastomosis.Non-invasive spectrophotometric oximetry was used to measure the oxygen saturation in 1st and 2nd degree arteries and veins of the superior and inferior temporal retinal vessel arches. Additionally, the peripheral systemic oxygen saturation was measured with a finger pulse oximeter.These results were compared with measurements from 11 healthy volunteers.
Oxygen saturation values were averaged between three consecutive images of the superior and inferior arches. Mean peripheral systemic oxygen saturation in the normal subjects was 98 % (97-99% total range) and 90 % (87-94% total range) in the ischemic group. Results from the retinal oxygen saturation measurements can be seen in table 1.
The results presented in table 1 can be recalculated to PO2, using the oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve. The PO2 values were 62 mmHg and 30 mmHg, respectively for arteries and veins in the healthy volunteers, compared to 46 mmHg and 23 mmHg in patients with chronic systemic hypoxia.
Oxygen saturation is lower in both retinal arteries and veins in hypoxic patients, compared to normal individuals. Due to the non-linearity of the oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve, this indicates that the retinal tissue in patients with chronic hypoxia operates at considerably lower levels of PO2 than in healthy individuals.
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