Ocular Blood Flow

Ocular Blood Flow

Nutrient supply to the eye and the efficient removal of waste products is achieved by blood flowing through the network of vasculature within the eye. Retinal ischemia (inadequate blood flow) is a major component in many retinal diseases. We have a number of techniques for measuring ocular blood flow, and we are looking into the effects of different types of retinal disease on the proper regulation of blood flow.

Because the retina needs to be largely transparent, the retinal circulation has evolved to have rather special properties. Because the retina must be largely transparent (to allow light to pass through and reach the photoreceptors), the vascular network is relatively sparse. However, the retinal vessels have a powerful ability to locally regulate blood flow in response to changing demands or supply conditions.

This powerful autoregulatory ability appears to be compromised in many disease states. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for these effects will ultimately tell us how to target therapeutic strategies to overcome the problem or ameliorate its effects.

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