Karen Joos
Last active: 4/3/2019

Morphological and functional changes in the rat retina associated with 2 months of intermittent moderate intraocular pressure elevation.

Tan B, Gurdita A, Choh V, Joos KM, Prasad R, Bizheva K
Sci Rep. 2018 8 (1): 7727

PMID: 29769654 · PMCID: PMC5955988 · DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-25938-z

Morphological and functional changes in the rat retina and optic nerve head (ONH), associated with 8 weeks of intermittent moderately elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) were measured with a combined ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR-OCT) and electroretinography (ERG) system. The IOP of male Sprague-Dawley rats was raised in one eye to ~35 mmHg for 1 hour/day on 6 days each week using vascular loops. Single-flash ERG traces and volumetric UHR-OCT images of the ONH were acquired from both eyes before, during and after IOP elevations at weeks 1, 5 and 9 of the study. The UHR-OCT images showed depression of the posterior eye around the ONH during the IOP elevations, the magnitude of which increased significantly from week 1 to week 9 (p = 0.01). The ERG a-wave and b-wave amplitudes increased temporarily during IOP elevations and returned to normal ~30 minutes after loop removal. Recurrent intermittent IOP spikes caused > 30% decrease in the ERG a-wave and b-wave amplitudes measured during the IOP elevations over the course of 2 months. This study suggests that recurrent, relatively short-duration IOP spikes for extended period of time are associated with peri-ONH tissue hypercompliance and reduced retinal functional response to visual stimulation during acute IOP elevation.

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