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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2006 Jul;244(7):795-801. Epub 2005 Nov 29.

Decreased blood flow at neuroretinal rim of optic nerve head corresponds with visual field deficit in eyes with normal tension glaucoma.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, 160-8582 Tokyo, Japan.



To determine the relationship between the blood flow parameters of the optic disc rim and the glaucomatous visual field changes.


Observational cross-sectional study.


Tissue blood flow in the neuroretinal rim within the optic disc was determined with the Heidelberg retina flowmeter(HRF) in 54 eyes of 54 patients with normal tension glaucoma (NTG). Patients were selected whose visual field defects were confined to either the superior or inferior hemifield. Blood flow measurements were made in a 10 degrees x 2.5 degrees area of the superior and inferior neuroretinal rim within the optic disc. The mean blood flow (MBF) was calculated by the automatic full-field perfusion image analyzer program, and the ratio of the MBF in the superior to the inferior rim areas (the S/I ratio) was calculated from the same HRF image in order to minimize the variation of measurement condition.


Inferior rim blood flow is less than superior rim blood flow in patients with superior hemifield defect, and superior rim blood flow is reduced compared to inferior in patients with inferior hemifield defect. The mean S/I ratios of the MBF in the patients with superior hemifield defect (1.46, n=37) was significantly higher than that in the patients with inferior hemifield defect (0.79, n=17; P<0.0001, Mann-Whitney U-test).


The blood flow in the neuroretinal rim was found to correspond to the regional visual field defect in eyes with NTG. Reductions in flow were associated with reductions in function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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