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Biomed Opt Express. 2016 Nov 4;7(12):4958-4973. doi: 10.1364/BOE.7.004958. eCollection 2016.

Computational fluid dynamics assisted characterization of parafoveal hemodynamics in normal and diabetic eyes using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy.

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  • 1Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; Equally contributing first authors.
  • 2Centre for Medical Informatics, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; Equally contributing first authors.
  • 3Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
  • 4Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA, USA.
  • 5Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK.
  • 6Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
  • 7Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of visual loss in working-age adults worldwide. Previous studies have found hemodynamic changes in the diabetic eyes, which precede clinically evident pathological alterations of the retinal microvasculature. There is a pressing need for new methods to allow greater understanding of these early hemodynamic changes that occur in DR. In this study, we propose a noninvasive method for the assessment of hemodynamics around the fovea (a region of the eye of paramount importance for vision). The proposed methodology combines adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and computational fluid dynamics modeling. We compare results obtained with this technique with in vivo measurements of blood flow based on blood cell aggregation tracking. Our results suggest that parafoveal hemodynamics, such as capillary velocity, wall shear stress, and capillary perfusion pressure can be noninvasively and reliably characterized with this method in both healthy and diabetic retinopathy patients.


(110.1080) Active or adaptive optics; (170.4460) Ophthalmic optics and devices; (330.4060) Vision modeling; (330.4300) Vision system - noninvasive assessment

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