PURPOSE: To evaluate association between ocular blood flow biomarkers and lamina cribrosa parameters in normotensive glaucoma suspects compared to glaucoma patients and healthy controls. METHODS: A total of 211 subjects (72 normotensive glaucoma suspects, 70 with primary open-angle glaucoma and 69 controls) were included. Ocular blood flow biomarkers in ophthalmic artery, central retinal artery, as well as in nasal and temporal short posterior ciliary arteries were measured using colour Doppler imaging. Lamina cribrosa position was assessed by measuring its depth, deflection depth, lamina cribrosa shape index and its horizontal equivalent (LCSIH) on B-scan images obtained using optical coherence tomography. RESULTS: Ocular blood flow biomarkers in glaucoma patients were statistically significantly reduced when compared to healthy controls in peak systolic velocity (PSV) (P = 0.001 in ophthalmic artery and P<0.001 in central retinal artery) and mean flow velocity (Vm) (P = 0.008 in ophthalmic artery and P = 0.008 in central retinal artery), but not statistically significantly different to that of glaucoma suspects except for PSV in central retinal artery (P = 0.011). Statistically significant correlations corrected for age, central corneal thickness and intraocular pressure were found in glaucoma patients between LCSIH and end diastolic velocity of central retinal artery (P = 0.011), and of nasal short posterior ciliary artery (P = 0.028), and between LCSIH and Vm of central retinal artery (P = 0.011) and of nasal short posterior ciliary artery (P = 0.007). No significant correlations were observed between these parameters in glaucoma suspects and healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS: Impaired ocular blood flow associated with the deformation of lamina cribrosa was found in glaucoma patients, whereas glaucoma suspects had similar lamina cribrosa shape to glaucoma patients but that deformation was not associated with ocular blood flow biomarkers.
Department of Ophthalmology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.