Fluorescein angiograms were performed on a group of low-tension glaucoma and chronic simple glaucoma patients with similar extent of visual field loss, under standardised conditions, to see whether differences attributable to chronic intraocular pressure elevation could be detected. There was no evidence for difference in circulation times between these two groups. There was no evidence that hypoperfusion of the peripapillary choroid contributed to optic nerve hypoperfusion. Low-tension glaucoma patients demonstrated focal sector hypoperfusion of the optic nerve in every case, while the chronic simple glaucoma patients demonstrated a wide range of optic nerve fluorescence, suggesting both focal and diffuse optic nerve head hypoperfusion. It was concluded that, while focal hypoperfusion of the optic nerve may reflect susceptible vasculature at the nerve head with or without intraocular pressure elevation, diffuse hypoperfusion suggested that prolonged intraocular pressure elevation may simultaneously affect the whole of the optic nerve head. This could be a direct effect on blood vessels or a mechanical effect with secondary vascular changes.
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