Measurement variability of the bulbar conjunctival microvasculature in healthy subjects using functional slit lamp biomicroscopy (FSLB)

Zhe Xu, Hong Jiang, Aizhu Tao, Shuangqing Wu, Wentao Yan, Jin Yuan, Che Liu, Delia Cabrera DeBuc, Jianhua Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The goal was to determine the variability of the quantitative measurement of the bulbar conjunctival microvascular morphology and hemodynamics by testing the repeatability and variation during office hours. Functional slit-lamp biomicroscopy (FSLB) was used to image the bulbar conjunctival microvasculature, including the vessel diameter, blood flow velocity/rate and fractal dimensions of the microvascular network. The temporal side of the bulbar conjunctiva in 20 healthy subjects was imaged. The subject was imaged at 9 AM to test the measurement repeatability by two independent graders. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of repeatability (CoR) were calculated. These same subjects were then imaged every two hours from 9 AM to 5 PM to test the variation during office hours. Custom software was used to semi-automatically process all measurements. The CoR% and ICC values between two graders for measuring the vessel diameter were 4.87% and 0.989, respectively. For the axial blood flow velocity, the CoR% and ICC were 11.49% and 0.997, respectively. From 9 AM to 5 PM, there were no significant variations in the vessel diameter and hemodynamics (P> 0.05), whereas the fractal dimensions of the non-invasive microvascular perfusion maps (nMPMs) were significantly increased at 3 PM and 5 PM compared with the baseline obtained at 9 AM (P< 0.05). FSLB appears to be capable of measuring vessel diameter, blood flow velocity and fractal dimension of the microvascular network in the bulbar conjunctiva. Slight variations over office hours were observed in the microvascular network, while the blood flow velocity remained stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalMicrovascular Research
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Bulbar conjunctival microvascular morphology
  • Diurnal variation during office hours
  • Functional slit lamp biomicroscopy (FSLB)
  • Hemodynamics
  • Repeatability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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