Study: Using OCT Doppler to measure retinal blood flow biomarkers

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The study assess retinal blood biomarkers using a new prototype OCT, aiming to measure retinal biomarkers such as blood flow volume, average velocity, and vessel diameter with a new prototype.

Oscar Otero-Marquez, MD, a research fellow with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, discusses his poster presentation titled, Retinal Blood Flow Measurements in Healthy Subjects with OCT Doppler, that was presented at the ARVO 2022 annual meeting held in Denver, Colorado.


This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Hello. So my name is Oscar Otero, I am a research fellow at New York Icahn Infirmary of Mount Sinai. I'm working at Dr. Rosen’s lab. My poster presentation is titled Retinal Blood Flow Measurements in Healthy Subjects with OCT Doppler.

The purpose of our study was to assess retinal blood biomarkers using a new prototype OCT. The idea is that we can measure retinal biomarkers such as blood flow volume, average velocity, and vessel diameter with new prototype.

What we found is that there is no difference in the supratemporal, infratemporal arcades in healthy human subjects. The idea of doing this study is that so far, we do have data available in the U.S. population. All the previous studies have been done on Asian populations. So this is the first time that we can measure retinal blood flow biomarkers in a U.S. population.

The next step is to image subjects with retinal diseases or with glaucoma. The idea is to use this prototype to image subjects with glaucoma, or CRVO. We think that these conditions might predispose to less blood flow within the eye. That means it is not proven yet that, for example, subjects with glaucoma have less blood flow within the eye. And that is a theory that still needs to be proven. So with this device, we can measure the blood flow within the large vessels that are different with OCT-A.

With this prototype, we are measuring the blood flow within large vessels close to the optic nerve. That way, we can see if there is a decrease in the blood flow in conditions such as glaucoma or, for example, in patients with CRVO, and retinal vein occlusions. There is a difference between the non-affected and the affected brain. One good thing is that we expect to measure if there is a difference within the same eye, for example, before and after treatment. If we see we are treating a patient with glaucoma, and we see that with one of our treatments the blood flow increases with medical or surgical therapy, we can reassure the patients that the treatment is good for them. And we can expect to use this as a clinical tool for our patients or for monitoring all kinds of diseases.