The conjunctival and cerebral vasculatures share similar embryological origins, with similar structural and physiological characteristics. Tracking the conjunctival microvasculature may provide useful information for predicting the onset, progression and prognosis of both systemic and central nervous system (CNS) vascular diseases. The bulbar conjunctival vasculature was imaged using a retinal function imager (RFI, Optical Imaging Ltd, Rehovot, Israel). Hemoglobin in red blood cells was used as an intrinsic motion-contrast agent in the generation of detailed noninvasive capillary-perfusion maps (nCPMs) and the calculation of the blood flow velocity. Five healthy subjects were imaged under normal conditions and again under the stress condition of wearing a contact lens. The retina was also imaged in one eye of one subject for comparison. The nCPMs showed the conjunctival microvasculature in exquisite detail, which appeared as clear as the retinal nCPMs. The blood flow velocities in the temporal conjunctival microvasculature were 0.86±0.08 (mean±SD, mm/s) for the bare eye and 0.99±0.11. mm/s with contact lens wear. It is feasible to use RFI for imaging the conjunctival vasculature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology