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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1992 Sep;33(10):2885-90.

Intravenous nicardipine in cats increases optic nerve head but not retinal blood flow.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


The effect of intravenously injected nicardipine on retinal and optic nerve head (ONH) blood flow was studied in 27 cats using laser Doppler velocimetry and flowmetry, respectively. A dose of 20 micrograms/kg of nicardipine had little effect on retinal blood flow. A dose of 100 micrograms/kg, however, produced a significant transient decrease in flow. By contrast, both doses produced a significant increase in ONH blood flow despite a significant decrease of the mean arterial blood pressure. Measurements of the partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) with an oxygen-sensitive microelectrode, whose tip was placed in the vitreous just in front of the optic disc, showed a significant increase in the PO2 that paralleled the increase in ONH blood flow. These results demonstrate, for the first time to the authors' knowledge, a pharmacologically induced increase in ONH blood flow and suggest that nicardipine could have a beneficial effect on ONH tissue.

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