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Nikolaus Luft, Piotr A. Wozniak, Gerold C. Aschinger, Klemens Fondi, Ahmed M. Bata, René M. Werkmeister, Doreen Schmidl, Katarzyna J. Witkowska, Matthias Bolz, Gerhard Garhöfer, Leopold Schmetterer; Measurements of Retinal Perfusion Using Laser Speckle Flowgraphy and Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(13):5417-5425. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-19896.
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This study evaluated the validity of retinal perfusion measurements using laser speckle flowgraphy (LSFG) by means of in vitro experiments and direct comparison with dual-beam Doppler optical coherence tomography (D-OCT) in a healthy Caucasian population.
The flow velocity of scattering solution pumped through a glass capillary was measured at 17 different flow velocities (range, 0.5–47 mm/s) using LSFG. The flow within the glass capillary was produced by a computer-controlled infusion pump. In vivo, three consecutive LSFG scans were obtained in 20 eyes of 20 healthy Caucasian subjects before and after pharmacological pupil dilation. Relative flow volume (RFV), the primary output parameter of LSFG, was comparatively validated relative to absolute measurements of retinal blood flow and velocity as obtained from D-OCT.
In the in vitro experiments, RFV was found to saturate at a level of approximately 700 arbitrary units (au) or 23.5 mm/s of actual velocity. In vivo, RFV was in significant agreement with absolute blood flow measurements as obtained from D-OCT in arteries (r = 0.69, P = 0.001) and veins (r = 0.74, P < 0.001). However, linear regression analysis revealed significant positive zero offset values for RFV of 223.4 and 282.7 au in arteries and veins, respectively.
Measurements of RFV were successfully obtainable, reproducible, and not influenced by pharmacological pupil dilation. Nevertheless, our data revealed flaws in the LSFG method of measuring retinal perfusion in Caucasians. Adjustment to the technique is required to address apparent issues with RFV, especially saturation effects with higher arterial flow rates. The present dataset may provide a valuable tool to do so. (Clinicaltrials.gov number NCT02582411).
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