Laser Doppler velocimetry in retinal arteries of infants
The present study was conducted to assess the feasibility of laser Doppler velocimetry in young infants, as a prelude to ultimately undertaking such measurements in premature infants. A portable, unidirectional laser Doppler velocimeter was developed based on a Kowa RC-2 hand-held fundus camera. Six infants between 1 and 21 weeks of age were studied. Relative red blood cell velocity (δfmax) at the centre of retinal arteries was measured over approximately 10 heart cycles. A pulsatility parameter (P=1−δfmax.dia/δfmax.sys), a summary index of vascular status, was determined from the average diastolic and systolic values of δfmax. Velocity waveforms were obtained in four of the six infants. Arterial pulsatility for the group was 0.63±0.13. Precise non-invasive measurement of arterial red blood cell velocity waveforms in young infants was achieved. The high signal-to-noise ratio and temporal resolution of this data suggest that relative measurements of retinal blood flow may permit assessment of haemodynamic changes in premature infants.
Key wordsBlood flow pulsatility Human infants Laser Doppler velocimetry Retinal blood flow
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