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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1995 Jun;36(7):1247-58.

Variability in choriocapillaris blood flow distribution.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723-6099, USA.



To investigate variability of choriocapillaris blood flow patterns.


After the intravenous injection of indocyanine green, angiograms were recorded at 30 images per second in rhesus monkey eyes using a fundus camera equipped with a pulsed laser diode light source, synchronized with a gated (5 msec), intensified charge-coupled device, or CCD, video camera. Images of choriocapillaris filling alone were extracted. Plastic corrosion casts were made of two of the monkey's choroidal vasculatures for subsequent scanning electron microscopy examination.


Pulsed laser indocyanine green fluorescence excitation produced better definition of choriocapillaris filling than had been achieved using continuous illumination. No correlation was found between the choriocapillaris plexus architecture revealed by the plastic corrosion casts and the observed choriocapillaris lobular filling. Overall posterior pole choriocapillaris dye-filling patterns were relatively stable for periods of days, but they changed gradually for periods of weeks. Localized minor pattern changes occurred on a much shorter time scale. Choriocapillaris filling patterns were altered by acutely elevating intraocular pressure, by O2 and CO2 breathing, and by argon laser retinal photocoagulation of adjacent areas.


Choriocapillaris filling patterns appear to be determined by the network of perfusion pressure gradients that exist among the interspersed feeding arterioles and draining venules connected to the choriocapillaris plexus. Changes in intraocular pressure and in blood PO2 and PCO2 levels can produce marked changes in the distribution of choriocapillaris blood flow. Retinal laser photocoagulation of adjacent fundus areas alters choriocapillaris blood flow to the extent that the altered flow might be an important factor in the beneficial results attributed to retinal laser treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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