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Reproducibility of Ophthalmodynamometric Measurements of the Central Retinal Artery and Vein Collapse Pressure

Lethen M.,
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Fakultät für klinische Medizin Mannheim, Augenklinik (Mannheim)

Purpose: Ophthalmodynamometry is a technique to measure the blood pressure in the central retinal artery and vein. Purpose of the present study was to assess the reproducibility of ophthalmodynamometric measurements using a new Goldmann contact lens associated device allowing direct visualization of the optic disc when manually asserting pressure on the globe. 
Method: The prospective clinical study included 11 eyes of 8 patients presenting with cataract (n=3), macular hole (n=3), and ischemic ophthalmopathy (n=2). With topical anesthesia, a Goldmann contact lens fitted with a pressure sensor was put onto the cornea. Pressure was asserted onto the globe by pressing the contact lens, and the pressure value at the time when the central retinal artery and vein started pulsating were noted. The measurements were performed ten times.
Results: The variation coefficient for repeated measurements of the retinal artery collapse pressure was 8.6 ± 3.9% and for repeated measurements of the retinal vein collapse pressure 26.3 ± 13.4%. Both variation coefficients were statistically independent (p>0.10) of the level of the arterial blood pressure, age and gender. They were marginally significantly (p=0.06) associated with the level of the central retinal artery collapse pressure and the level of the central retinal vein collapse pressure.
Conclusions: A new Goldmann lens associated ophthalmodynamometer allows central retinal artery collapse pressure measurements and central retinal vein collapse pressure measurements, respectively, with a reproducibility of about 8-10% and 25%, resp.. The variation coefficients are higher for the central retinal vein pressure measurements than for the central retinal artery pressure measurements, and depend on the level of the pressure determined.