Visually evoked changes of retinal blood flow can serve as an important research tool to investigate eye disease such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. In this study we used a combined, research-grade, high-resolution Doppler OCT+ERG system to study changes in the retinal blood flow (RBF) and retinal neuronal activity in response to visual stimuli of different intensities, durations and type (flicker vs single flash). Specifically, we used white light stimuli of 10 ms and 200 ms single flash, 1s and 2s for flickers stimuli of 20% duty cycle. The study was conducted in-vivo in pigmented rats. Both single flash (SF) and flicker stimuli caused increase in the RBF. The 10 ms SF stimulus did not generate any consistent measurable response, while the 200 ms SF of the same intensity generated ~4% change in the RBF peaking at ~1.5 s after the stimulus onset. Single flash stimuli introduced ~2x smaller change in RBF and ~30% earlier RBF peak response compared to flicker stimuli of the same intensity and duration. Doubling the intensity of SF or flicker stimuli increased the RBF peak magnitude by ~1.5x. Shortening the flicker stimulus duration by 2x increased the RBF recovery rate by 2x, however, had no effect on the rate of RBF change from baseline to peak.
Bingyao Tan, Erik Mason, Ben MacLellan, and Kostadinka Bizheva, "Visually evoked changes in the rat retinal blood flow measured with Doppler optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10045, Ophthalmic Technologies XXVII, 100450I (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 16 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252398.5370275048001.
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