Abstract

With each contraction of the heart’s left ventricle, a pulse pressure wave surges into the aorta and propagates throughout the vascular tree. The pulse wave drives blood flow forward. Its passage is complex, but it passes more quickly through non-compliant, or stiff, vessels, providing an important signpost of cardiovascular disease. The transparent media of the eye allow direct and non-invasive measurement of this phenomenon within the microvasculature of neural tissue. However, previous estimates differ over three orders of magnitude. Here, we used high spatiotemporal resolution adaptive optics imaging to directly track the pulse wave within individual retinal capillaries in three human subjects. Across 74 unique capillary segments, pulse wave velocity averaged ${6.4}\;{\pm}\;{0.5}\;{\rm mm/sec}$ (${\rm mean}\;{\pm}\;{\rm SEM}$). There was large variation between vessels; the slowest pulse wave was at most 0.8 mm/sec and the fastest at least 17.6 mm/sec. In 44% of vessels, the pulse wave traveled upstream, in the opposite direction to flow, suggesting wave reflection from downstream collecting junctions.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
More Like This
In vivo measurement of the lineal density of red blood cells in human retinal capillaries using high-speed adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy

Boyu Gu, David Sarraf, Michael Ip, Srinivas R. Sadda, and Yuhua Zhang
Opt. Lett. 46(14) 3392-3395 (2021)

Imaging pulse wave propagation in human retinal vessels using full-field swept-source optical coherence tomography

Hendrik Spahr, Dierck Hillmann, Carola Hain, Clara Pfäffle, Helge Sudkamp, Gesa Franke, and Gereon Hüttmann
Opt. Lett. 40(20) 4771-4774 (2015)

Direct visualization and characterization of erythrocyte flow in human retinal capillaries

Phillip Bedggood and Andrew Metha
Biomed. Opt. Express 3(12) 3264-3277 (2012)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an Optica member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access Optica Member Subscription

Data Availability

Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an Optica member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access Optica Member Subscription

Figures (4)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an Optica member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access Optica Member Subscription

Equations (1)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an Optica member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access Optica Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an Optica member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access Optica Member Subscription