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Vision Res. 2004 Apr;44(8):833-8.

Diffuse luminance flicker increases blood flow in major retinal arteries and veins.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Vienna General Hospital, University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, Vienna A-1090, Austria.


It has been shown that diffuse luminance flicker increases optic nerve head blood flow. The current study has been performed to quantify changes in retinal blood flow during flicker stimulation. In a group of 11 healthy volunteers, red blood cell velocity and retinal vessel diameters were assessed with bi-directional laser Doppler velocimetry and the Zeiss retinal vessel analyzer before, during and after stimulation with diffuse luminance flicker. Retinal blood flow was calculated for each condition. Flicker stimulation increased retinal blood flow by +59 +/- 20% (p<0.01) in arteries and by +53 +/- 25% (p<0.01) in retinal veins. These results demonstrate that diffuse luminance flicker increases retinal blood flow in the human retina.

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