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Biotechnology - Ophthalmology - Physiology

Acute Variations in Retinal Vascular Oxygen Content in a Rabbit Model of Retinal Venous Occlusion
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Author: Gilberto Raul Lopez Jaime et al.

by Gilberto Raul Lopez Jaime, Amir H. Kashani, Saloomeh Saati, Gabriel Martin, Gerald Chader, Mark S. Humayun


To study the variation in intravascular oxygen saturation (oximetry) during an acute retinal vein occlusion (RVO) using hyperspectral computed tomographic spectroscopy based oximetry measurements.


Thirty rabbits were dilated and anesthetized for experiments. Baseline oximetry measurements were made using a custom-made hyperspectral computed tomographic imaging spectrometer coupled to a fundus camera. RVO were induced using argon green laser following an intravenous injection of Rose Bengal. RVO induction was confirmed by fluorescein angiography. Retinal oximetry measurements were repeated in arterial and venous branches one hour after RVO induction and up to 4 weeks afterwards. Comparison of retinal oximetry before and after vein occlusion was made using the Student T-test.


One hour after RVO induction, we observed statistically significant reductions in the intravascular oxygen saturation in temporal retinal arteries (85.1±6.1% vs. 80.6±6.6%; p<0.0001) and veins (71.4±5.5% vs. 64.0±4.7%; p<0.0001). This decrease was reversible in animals that spontaneously recannulated the vein occlusion. There were no statistically significant differences in oxygen saturation in the nasal control arteries and veins before and after temporal vein RVO induction.


We demonstrate, for the first time, acute changes in the intravascular oxygen content of retinal vessels 1 hour after RVO. These changes are reversible upon spontaneous recannulation of retinal vessels. This study demonstrates that hyperspectral computer tomographic spectroscopy based oximetry can detect physiological variations in intravascular retinal oxygen saturation. The study also provides the first qualitative and quantitative evidence of the variation in retinal vascular oxygen content directly attributable to an acute retinal vein occlusion.