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P. Tsai, A. Harris, L. Kagemann, S. Kresovsky, R. Dinn, B. Siesky, L. McCranor, Y. Catoira; Arterial Oxygen Saturation Decreases with Age . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):2592.
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Purpose: To examine the effect of age and gender on retinal arterial blood oxygen saturation. Methods: All procedures were approved by an IRB, and informed consent obtained. Thirty–two oximetry images were obtained in 14 normal healthy adults (24 –52 years, mean 32, SD 8; 12 male, 20 female, 8 smoker, and 24 non–smoker), retinal artery and vein blood oxygen saturation (O2sat) was measured by a newly developed digital retinal oximeter. The system takes a single fundus image and divides it optically into four identical images. Each image is then filtered to isolate a different narrow band wavelength (∼ 5 nm): one image with a wavelength at which the light absorption of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin is equal (589 nm), and the other three with wavelengths at which the relative absorption of the 2 species of hemoglobin differ by the greatest ratio (542, 558, and 605 nm). Each isolated wavelength image is digitized to determine light intensity. Images were analyzed using average reflectance of tissue surrounding blood vessels in the calculation of optical density (OD). OD, therefore, becomes ln(tissue/blood vessel). The ratio between an oxyhemoglobin sensitive OD and isobestic wavelength OD is calculated. This ratio is the optical density ratio (ODR), and is proportional to oxygen saturation. Retinal oxygen saturation was compared to age using linear regression analysis, with values of p < 0.05 considered significant; within the entire group, and then split by gender. Results: Retinal arterial oxygen saturation is significantly correlated, lower in older individuals (p = 0.015, r2 = 0.182). When spilt by sex, there was no significant correlation between age and sex in women, however retinal arterial oxygen saturation is significantly correlated, lower in older males (p = 0.049, r2 = 0.333). Conclusions: Retinal oxygen saturation appears to be significantly correlated with age in men, but not in women.
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