June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
The lamina cribrosa vascular network is heavily interconnected with that of adjacent regions, not just the periphery, likely improving perfusion resilience
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ian A Sigal
    Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Po-Yi Lee
    Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Marissa Quinn
    Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Susannah Waxman
    Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Andrew P Voorhees
    Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Bin Yang
    Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    Engineering, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Tatjana C Jakobs
    Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Joseph Rizzo
    Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Brad Fortune
    Devers eye institute, Legacy Health System, Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Yi Hua
    Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Ian Sigal None; Po-Yi Lee None; Marissa Quinn None; Susannah Waxman None; Andrew Voorhees None; Bin Yang None; Tatjana Jakobs None; Joseph Rizzo None; Brad Fortune Perfuse Therapeutics, Code C (Consultant/Contractor), Heidelberg Engineering, Perfuse Therapeutics, Code F (Financial Support); Yi Hua None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH R01-EY023966, R01-EY031708, P30-EY008098 and T32-EY017271 Eye and Ear Foundation (Pittsburgh, PA) Research to Prevent Blindness
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 4031 – A0416. doi:
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      Ian A Sigal, Po-Yi Lee, Marissa Quinn, Susannah Waxman, Andrew P Voorhees, Bin Yang, Tatjana C Jakobs, Joseph Rizzo, Brad Fortune, Yi Hua; The lamina cribrosa vascular network is heavily interconnected with that of adjacent regions, not just the periphery, likely improving perfusion resilience. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):4031 – A0416.

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

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Abstract

Purpose : A reliable blood supply to the optic nerve neural tissues is essential to prevent damage and vision loss. At the lamina cribrosa (LC) this is achieved by a complex network of capillaries intertwined with collagen beams. Conventional understanding has been that LC blood perfusion originates from the posterior ciliary artery (PCA) at the periphery of the canal and drains into the central retinal vein. To better understand the LC perfusion and potential challenges to perfusion that could lead to ischemia we map the LC 3D vasculature

Methods : The vasculatures of six normal monkey eyes were labelled post-mortem by perfusing lipophilic carbocyanine dyes through the carotid arteries. After enucleation serial coronal cryosections 16µm thick through the LC were imaged using fluorescence and polarized light microscopy to visualize the labeled vessels and label-free collagen, respectively. The collagen structures were registered and used to identify the LC and form an image stack from which the fluorescence was segmented to reconstruct the 3D vascular network. We performed both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the LC vessels

Results : Three of the six eyes exhibited vessel branches directly from the central retinal artery (CRA) to the LC (Fig 1). A watershed analysis revealed distinct perfusion regions for the initial branching levels, after which the vessels interconnected with the rest of the LC vascular network. The LC vessels were heavily interconnected with the adjacent vasculature (Fig 2). For example, in one eye there were 1100 anastomoses between the LC vessels and the exterior. The largest number of anastomoses was with the retro-laminar region (479), followed by the periphery (409), the pre-laminar region (159) and the central vessels (53). A substantial fraction (>20%) of neural tissues were further than 40µm from vessels, and thus at higher risk of ischemia

Conclusions : The LC vascular network is heavily interconnected with the PCA, but also with the CRA and with the pre- and retro-laminar regions. We postulate that multiple potential perfusion sources provide redundancy that can help protect tissues from compromised perfusion and ischemia, at all levels of IOP, particularly for tissues further away from the vasculature. More work is necessary to map more eyes, and develop the technology to measure LC blood flow and perfusion

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

 

 

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