Quantitative analysis of capillary networks in the human retina

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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[Truncated] Purpose: To improve our understanding of the human capillary microvasculature bydetermining correlations between the location of neuronal subcellular compartmentsand the morphometric features of regional capillary networks in the layered retina. Todetect if patients with cardiovascular comorbidities but no clinically detectable retinaldisease demonstrate quantitative alterations to capillary networks. To determinewhether speckle variance optical coherence tomography can be used as a clinicaldiagnostic tool by accurately providing qualitative and quantitative informationregarding capillary networks in the human retina.

Methods: The first experiment involved studying the retinal capillary networks in 17healthy human donor eyes. A specific location, the perifoveal region located 2 mmnasal to the fovea was studied. Micropipette technology was used to cannulate thecentral retinal artery and label the retinal microcirculation using a phalloidin perfusate.Confocal scanning laser microscopy was used for capillary imaging. Antibodiesincluding gamma-synuclein, goalpha and parvalbumin antibodies were also used to colocalizethe nerve fibre layer (NFL), retinal ganglion cell layer (RGCL), innerplexiform layer (IPL) and inner nuclear layer (INL) to capillary networks. Capillarydiameter, capillary loop area and capillary density were measured between networks.

For the second experiment, comparisons were made between 10 eyes from patientswith systemic vascular comorbidities and the 17 control eyes utilized in the firstexperiment. All eyes were absent of clinically evident ocular disease. Identical microcannulationtechniques were used to label the retinal microvasculature and the sameperifoveal region was studied. Two- and three-dimensional image reconstructions wereused to perform quantitative measurements of individual capillary networks within theperifovea. Parameters measured included capillary diameter, capillary loop area,capillary loop length, capillary density and capillary surface area.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014


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