June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
The Vascular Theory of Glaucoma - Quantifying Blood Vessels in Cadaveric Optic Nerve Head Specimens
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Westin Wong
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colorado, United States
  • Brianna Landis
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colorado, United States
  • Nicholas Noyce
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colorado, United States
  • Anthony C Pappas
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colorado, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Westin Wong None; Brianna Landis None; Nicholas Noyce None; Anthony Pappas None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Rocky Vista University Intramural Research Grant
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 4026 – A0411. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Westin Wong, Brianna Landis, Nicholas Noyce, Anthony C Pappas; The Vascular Theory of Glaucoma - Quantifying Blood Vessels in Cadaveric Optic Nerve Head Specimens. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):4026 – A0411.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Purpose : Damage to axons in the optic nerve head (ONH) likely contributes to vision loss in patients with glaucoma. While the mechanism of axonal injury has not been fully elucidated, vascular factors have long been considered to play a role. Despite efforts to link determinants of ocular blood flow to the development of glaucoma, a simple quantification of the ONH blood supply has not been previously performed. Here, we quantified blood vessels in sections of ONHs obtained from cadaveric donors with and without glaucoma to determine whether deficiencies in ONH vascularity are associated with glaucomatous disease.

Methods : Six ONHs were recovered from four cadaveric donors; of which, one ONH had a history of glaucomatous disease of unknown subtype. The remaining ONHs were obtained from donors with no offered history of ophthalmic disease. All ONHs were sectioned serially (5 µm thick) and stained with an antibody targeting the endothelial cell marker, CD31. 10x images were acquired from each quadrant of the ONHs, and vascularity (i.e., the number of CD31-positive blood vessels) was quantified manually by a blinded observer. Six serial sections per ONH were analyzed. CD31-positive structures were included in our analysis if they exhibited either: 1) a clear and obvious lumen, or 2) 20 µm of uninterrupted staining. The central retinal vessels were excluded from our analysis.

Results : Vascularity within the supero-medial, infero-medial, and infero-lateral quadrants were similar between glaucomatous and non-glaucomatous ONHs. However, the supero-lateral quadrant of the glaucomatous ONH exhibited a consistently lower number of blood vessels (μ = 16.0, SE = 1.7; n = 6 images from 1 eye) compared to the supero-lateral quadrants of non-glaucomatous ONHs (μ = 27.8, SE = 5.3; n = 24 images from 4 eyes).

Conclusions : Our results raise the possibility that glaucomatous ONHs exhibit reduced vascularity. This could reflect either: 1) a lower number of blood vessels entering the nerve parenchyma, 2) a reduction in the amount branching within the vascular bed, and/or 3) vascular remodeling following axonal damage. Further research with increased sample size is needed to confirm our findings.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.

×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×