Purpose: To determine age-related alterations in the retinal tissue perfusion (RTP) and volumetric vessel density (VVD) in healthy subjects. Methods: Total 148 healthy subjects (age 18 to 83 years) were enrolled and divided into four groups (G1, <35 years; G2, 35 ∼ 49 years; G3, 50 ∼ 64 years; and G4, ≥65 years). The RTP and VVD were measured at the macula. The RTP was calculated as the blood flow supplying the macular area (ϕ 2.5 mm) divided by the perfused tissue volume of the inner retina from the inner limiting membrane to the outer plexiform layer. The VVD of the macula (ϕ 2.5 mm) was calculated as the vessel density divided by the corresponding tissue volume. Results: The RTP and VVD of the retinal vascular network and deep vascular plexus (DVP) reached a peak in G2. Compared to G2, G4 had significantly lower RTP and VVD of DVP (P < 0.05). After 35 years old, age was negatively related to the RTP (r = -0.26, P = 0.02) and VVD of the DVP (r = -0.47, P < 0.001). However, age was positively related to VVD of the superficial vascular plexus (SVP; r = 0.24, P = 0.04) in subjects aged more than 35 years. The RTP was correlated to VVD measurements (r = 0.23-0.37, P < 0.01). Conclusions: This is the first study to reveal the age-related alterations in the RTP and VVD during normal aging in a healthy population. Decreased RTP and VVD in the DVP along with increased VVD in the SVP may represent a characteristic pattern of normal aging in the healthy population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience