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Invited Commentary
September 2015

Measuring Blood Flow: So What?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Eye and Ear Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Eye Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Ophthalmology and Visual Science Research Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 3Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;133(9):1052-1053. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.2287

Ocular blood flow and optic nerve injury have been linked and have remained in a chicken-and-egg quandary since the 19th century. The question of which comes first remains unanswered, and the connection has not been revealed.

The concept of blood flow as it relates to glaucoma damage is clearly sound: less blood flow means more nerve damage, with causality unknown.1-3 Imagine a reproducible, quantitative, objective method of assessment of optic nerve or retinal blood flow (global or local), particularly one that does not require an expert technician or observer. Such technology would be a great boon to glaucoma assessment for initial identification, monitoring, and detection of progression.

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