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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Jan;48(1):328-31.

Increased blood pressure induces a diameter response of retinal arterioles that increases with decreasing arteriolar diameter.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Arhus University Hospital, Arhus, Denmark.



To study the diameter response of retinal arterioles as a function of the arteriolar diameter.


Ten healthy young volunteers aged 22 to 33 years were subjected to diameter measurement of four successive segments of a retinal arteriole with a retinal vessel analyzer (RVA). At each of the segments, the diameter response during an increase in the systemic blood pressure (mean arterial pressure [MAP]) induced by isometric exercise was compared to the diameter of the arterioles during rest.


The isometric exercise induced a significant contraction of the studied vessel segments averaging 2.5% +/- 0.4% (P < 0.0001, n = 40). There was a significant negative correlation between the baseline diameter of the studied vessel segments and the diameter response induced by isometric exercise (P = 0.02).


The blood pressure-induced diameter response of retinal arterioles increased with decreasing diameter of the vessels. The results indicate that the distal retinal arterioles play a major role in the regulation of retinal blood flow.

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