An assessment of microvascular hemodynamics in human macula

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An adequate blood supply to meet the energy demands is essential for any tissue, particularly for high energy demand tissues such as the retina. A critical question is: How is the dynamic match between neuronal demands and blood supply achieved? We present a quantitative assessment of temporal and spatial variations in perfusion in the macular capillary network in 10 healthy human subjects using a non-invasive and label-free imaging technique. The assessment is based on the calculation of the coefficient of variation (CoV) of the perfusion signal from arterioles, venules and capillaries from a sequence of optical coherence tomography angiography images centred on the fovea. Significant heterogeneity of the spatial and temporal variation was found within arterioles, venules and capillary networks. The CoV values of the capillaries and smallest vessels were significantly higher than that in the larger vessels. Our results demonstrate the presence of significant heterogeneity of spatial and temporal variation within each element of the macular microvasculature, particularly in the capillaries and finer vessels. Our findings suggest that the dynamic match between neuronal demands and blood supply is achieved by frequent alteration of local blood flow evidenced by capillary perfusion variations both spatially and temporally in the macular region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7550
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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