Retinal oximetry of capillaries was performed for early detection of retinal vascular abnormalities, which are caused predominantly by complications of systemic circulatory diseases. As the conventional method for determining absorbance is not applicable to capillaries, multicomponent analysis was used to estimate the absorbance spectra of the retinal blood vessels. In this analysis, the capillary spectrum was classified as intermediate between those of the retinal arteries and veins, enabling relative estimation of oxygen saturation in the capillaries. This method could be useful for early recognition of disturbances in the peripheral circulation. Furthermore, a spectroscopic ophthalmoscope system based on the proposed method was developed to examine the human retina. A clinical trial of this system demonstrated that oximetry of the retinal capillaries may be an improvement over the present diagnosis for patients of malignant hypertension.

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