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Prolonged Postocclusive Hyperemia Response in Patients with Normal-Tension Glaucoma

Joanna Wierzbowska, Stanisław Wojtkiewicz, Anna Zbieć, Robert Wierzbowski, Adam Liebert, Roman Maniewski

Department of Ophthalmology, Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:2607-2616

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.891069

Available online:

Published: 2014-12-11

Background: It is believed that endothelial dysfunction may be a link between systemic and ocular dysregulation in glaucoma. The aim of this study was to evaluate peripheral vascular reactive hyperemia in response to occlusion test and to correlate peripheral vascular findings with retrobulbar hemodynamics parameters in patients with normal-tension glaucoma.
Material and Methods: Forty-eight patients with normal-tension glaucoma (mean age 58.1 years, 38 women) and 40 control subjects (mean age 54.1 years, 36 women) were subjected to a brachial arterial occlusion test and color Doppler imaging (LOGIQ 9, GE Medical Systems) of the retrobulbar arteries. Finger hyperemia was assessed by using a 2-channel laser Doppler flowmeter (MBF-3D, Moor Instruments, Ltd.). Time parameters (time to peak flow, half-time of hyperemia, time of recovery) and amplitude parameters (maximum hyperemia response, biological zero) of the post-occlusive reactive hyperemia signal pattern as well as velocities and resistance index of the ophthalmic, central retinal, and short posterior ciliary arteries were evaluated and compared between study groups.
Results: In glaucoma patients, time to peak flow and half-time of hyperemia were significantly longer (21.4 vs. 12.0 s, p=0.02 and 74.1 vs. 44.2 s, p=0.03, respectively) and biological zero was significantly lower (2.4 vs. 3.2, p=0.01) comparing with healthy subjects. In glaucoma patients, peak-systolic and end-diastolic velocities of central retinal artery were significantly lower (12.8 vs.14.1, p=0.03 and 3.9 vs. 4.7, p=0.01, respectively) and resistance index of this artery was significantly higher (0.69 vs. 0.67, p=0.03) compared to controls. In the glaucoma group, maximum hyperemic response was negatively correlated with the resistance index of temporal short posterior ciliary arteries (r=–0.4, p=0.01), whereas in the control group half-time of hyperemia was negatively correlated with end-diastolic velocity of the central retinal artery (r=–0.3, p=0.03).
Conclusions: Arterial occlusion test elicited a prolonged systemic hyperemia response in patients with glaucoma as compared with healthy subjects. Retrobulbar blood flow alterations in glaucoma patients may be related to systemic vascular dysregulation.

Keywords: Glaucoma - ultrasonography, Hemodynamics, Hyperemia - ultrasonography, Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color