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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Feb 10;55(2):873-80. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13716.

Static blood flow autoregulation in the optic nerve head in normal and experimental glaucoma.

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Devers Eye Institute, Legacy Research Institute, Portland, Oregon.



To characterize the static blood flow autoregulation in the optic nerve head (ONH), and to investigate its role in hemodynamic changes in experimental glaucoma (EG).


Unilateral elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) was induced in 15 adult rhesus macaques by laser treatment to the trabecular meshwork. Prior to and after laser treatment, retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) was assessed, biweekly, by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Optic nerve head static autoregulation was assessed by determining the percentage blood flow (BF) change after the IOP was acutely increased from 10 to 30, 40, or 50 mm Hg manometrically, utilizing a laser speckle flowgraphy device.


Postlaser IOP (measured during average 7.7 ± 2.6 months) was 20.2 ± 5.9 mm Hg in EG eyes and 12.3 ± 2.6 mm Hg in control eyes (P < 0.0001). Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness was reduced by 33 ± 22% of the baseline values (P < 0.001) on average in EG eyes and by 0.4 ± 2.3% in control eyes (P > 0.05). The ONH BF remained at a constant level within a range of ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), 41 mm Hg and above. The autoregulation curves, created by all 723 tests in control and 352 tests in EG, were not significantly different (P = 0.71).


Optic nerve head BF in normal nonhuman primate (NHP) eyes is effectively regulated within a range of OPP approximately 41 mm Hg and above. Chronic IOP elevation causes no remarkable change to the static autoregulation within the ONH of EG eyes.


autoregulation; experimental glaucoma; intraocular pressure; ocular perfusion pressure

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