Retinal oxygen delivery and metabolism in healthy and sickle cell retinopathy subjects

Mahnaz Shahidi, Anthony E. Felder, Ou Tan, Norman P. Blair, David Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Reduction in inner retinal oxygen delivery (DO2) can cause retinal hypoxia and impair inner retinal oxygen metabolism (MO2), leading to vision loss. The purpose of the current study was to establish measurements of DO2 and MO2 in healthy subjects and test the hypothesis that DO2 and MO2 are reduced in sickle cell retinopathy (SCR) subjects. METHODS. Dual wavelength retinal oximetry and Doppler optical coherence tomography were performed in 12 healthy control and 12 SCR subjects. Images were analyzed to measure retinal arterial and venous oxygen content (O2A and O2V), venous diameter (DV), and total retinal blood flow (TRBF). Retinal arteriovenous oxygen content difference (O2AV), DO2, MO2, and oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) were calculated according to the following equations: O2AV = O2A - O2V; DO2 = TRBF * O2A; MO2 = TRBF * O2AV; OEF = MO2/DO2. RESULTS. Retinal DV and TRBF were higher in the SCR group as compared to the control group, whereas, O2A, O2V, and O2AV were lower in SCR group as compared to the control group. DO2, MO2, and OEF were not significantly different between control and SCR groups. MO2 and DO2 were linearly related, such that higher MO2 was associated with higher DO2. There was an inverse relationship between TRBF and OEF, such that lower TRBF was associated with higher OEF. CONCLUSIONS. Increased blood flow compensated for decreased oxygen content, thereby maintaining DO2, MO2, and OEF at predominately lower stages of SCR. Quantitative assessment of these parameters has the potential to advance knowledge and improve diagnostic evaluation of retinal ischemic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1905-1909
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Blood flow
  • Oxygen extraction fraction
  • Oxygen metabolism
  • Sickle cell retinopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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