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G. A. Kontadakis, M. K. Tsilimbaris, S. Charissis, S. D. Yarmenitis; A New Method to Quantify Eye Blood Supply: Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Perfusion Studies of the Retinal-Choroidal Complex and the Retrobulbar Vascular Complex. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4252.
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The typical sonographic evaluation of the eye vasculature is performed by means of color Doppler scans and it is confined to the retrobulbar network.The aim of this study is to investigate the perfusion features of both bulbar and retrobulbar vessel complexes using contrast-enhanced ultrasound.
Fourteen eye units from seven volunteers (3males, 4females) were scanned at low acoustic output levels (MI<0.2) after a bolus IV injection of a second generation ultrasound contrast agent. Continuous real-time video sequences were recorded for at least 60 sec for each eye. The clips were analyzed off-line, using Qontrast (Bracco) quantification software. The Peak contrast intensity value, the Time to Peak (TTP), the Regional Blood Volume (RBV) and the Regional Blood Flow (RBF) were calculated from regions of interest drawn at the bulbar retinal-choroidal complex and the retrobulbar vascular complex. Comparison was performed between the values of these two regions as well as between the right and left eyes.
A clear cut-off point, with strong statistical significance, was found between the bulbar and retrobulbar mean values for each eye unit; Peak(right:21.09/9.04,left:24.06/11.22), RBV(right:742.95/292.17,left:752.21/371.62) and RBF(right:25.95/10.49,left:28.18/12.77). Overlapping values were recorded for the TTP. The differences of the mean values of all parameters between the right and left side were statistically non-significant.
CEUS perfusion studies are highly effective in recording distinctive values for the vascular conditions at the bulbar and retrobulbar regions of the eye. This technique may offer a diagnostic tool to investigate pathologies that alter the perfusion patterns of the eye.
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