Retinal capillary perfusion: Spatial and temporal heterogeneity

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The central role of the cardiovascular system is to maintain adequate capillary perfusion. The spatially and temporally heterogeneous nature of capillary perfusion has been reported in some organs. However, such heterogeneous perfusion properties have not been sufficiently explored in the retina. Arguably, spatial and temporal heterogeneity of capillary perfusion could be more predominant in the retina than that in other organs. This is because the retina is one of the highest metabolic demand neural tissues yet it has a limited blood supply due to optical requirements. In addition, the unique heterogeneous distribution of retinal neural cells within different layers and regions, and the significant heterogeneity of intraretinal oxygen distribution and consumption add to the complexity. Retinal blood flow distribution must match consumption of nutrients such as oxygen and glucose within the retina at the cellular level in order to effectively maintain cell survival and function. Sophisticated local blood flow control in the microcirculation is likely required to control the retinal capillary perfusion to supply local retinal tissue and accommodate temporal and spatial variations in metabolic supply and demand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-54
Number of pages32
JournalProgress in Retinal and Eye Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


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