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Raksha Urs, Jeffrey A. Ketterling, Alfred C. H. Yu, Harriet O. Lloyd, Billy Y. S. Yiu, Ronald H. Silverman; Ultrasound Imaging and Measurement of Choroidal Blood Flow. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2018;7(5):5. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.7.5.5.
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The choroid is a vascular network providing the bulk of the oxygen and nutrient supply to the retina and may play a pivotal role in retinal disease pathogenesis. While optical coherence tomography angiography provides an en face depiction of the choroidal vasculature, it does not reveal flow dynamics. In this report, we describe the use of plane-wave ultrasound to image and characterize choroidal blood flow.
We scanned both eyes of 12 healthy subjects in a horizontal plane superior to the optic nerve head using an 18-MHz linear array. Plane-wave data were acquired over 10 transmission angles that were coherently compounded to produce 1000 images/sec for 3 seconds. These data were processed to produce a time series of power Doppler images and spectrograms depicting choroidal flow velocity. Analysis of variance was used to characterize peak systolic, and end diastolic velocities and resistive index, and their variability between scans, eyes, and subjects.
Power Doppler images showed distinct arterioles within a more diffuse background. Choroidal flow was moderately pulsatile, with peak systolic velocity averaging approximately 10 mm/sec and resistive index of 0.55. There was no significant difference between left and right eyes, but significant variation among subjects.
Plane-wave ultrasound visualized individual arterioles and allowed measurement of flow over the cardiac cycle. Characterization of choroidal flow dynamics offers a novel means for assessment of the choroid's role in ocular disease.
Characterization of choroidal flow dynamics offers a novel means for assessment of the choroid's role in ocular disease.
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