Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Measurement of total blood flow in the normal human retina using Doppler Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography
  1. Y Wang1,
  2. A Lu1,
  3. J Gil-Flamer1,
  4. O Tan1,
  5. J A Izatt2,
  6. D Huang1
  1. 1
    Center for Ophthalmic Optics & Lasers, Doheny Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Dr Y Wang, Doheny Eye Institute—DVRC 160B, 1355 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA; yiminwan{at}


Aim: To measure total retinal blood flow in normal human eyes using Doppler Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT).

Methods: 10 normal people aged 35 to 69 years were measured for the right eye using Doppler FD-OCT. Double circular scans around the optic nerve heads were used. Four pairs of circular scans that transected all retinal branch vessels were completed in 2 s. Total retinal blood flow was obtained by summing the flows in the branch veins. Measurements from the eight scans were averaged. Veins with diameters >33 μm were taken into account.

Results: Total retinal blood flow could be measured in eight of 10 subjects: mean (SD) = 45.6 (3.8) μl/min (range 40.8 to 52.9 μl/min). The coefficient of variation for repeated measurements was 10.5%. Measured vein diameters ranged from 33.3 to 155.4 μm. The averaged flow speed was 19.3 (2.9) mm/s, which did not correlate with vessel diameter. There was no significant difference between flows in the superior and inferior retinal hemispheres.

Conclusions: Double circular scanning using Doppler FD-OCT is a rapid and reproducible method to measure total retinal blood flow. These flow values are within the range previously established by laser Doppler flowmetry.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: DH receives royalty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology derived from an OCT patent licensed to Carl Zeiss Meditec and receives stock options, travel support, research grants, and patent royalties from Optovue. JAI is a cofounder and corporate officer of Bioptigen; YW: Optovue.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by the institutional review board of the University of Southern California.

Linked Articles

  • At a glance
    Harminder S Dua Arun D Singh