A new bidirectional laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV) is described for absolute measurement of the speed of red blood cells flowing in individual retinal vessels. The basic component of the instrument is a standard retinal camera that eliminates the need for a contact lens. The laser beam is delivered to the eye through the fundus illumination optical system of the camera. Target fixation is done with the eye under examination. The measurements are independent from the ocular refraction; only the axial length of the eye need be determined. The instrument markedly simplifies the technique of retinal blood flow measurement.
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