Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Vascular supply of the optic nerve head: implications for optic disc ischaemia
  1. Anthony Arnold
  1. Ophthalmology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anthony Arnold, Ophthalmology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; arnolda{at}


The vascular supply of the optic nerve head is complex and remains incompletely delineated. Over the past 50 years, various investigators have attempted to clarify the relative contributions of the choroid, the short posterior ciliary arteries and the central retinal artery to the vascular beds of the inner retinal, prelaminar, laminar and retrolaminar segments of the nerve head. Conflicting theories have evolved, in no small part due to differing techniques of study, involving both flow parameters and anatomical constructs. These have included studies, both in normal subjects and in those with optic nerve ischaemia, of histopathology, electron microscopic corrosion casting, orbital colour Doppler flow studies, fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography, laser Doppler flow studies, laser speckle flowgraphy, microperfusion and labelling studies and optical coherence tomography angiography. The nature of the optic disc, peripapillary retina and choroid microvasculature has implications for the pathophysiology of ischaemic optic neuropathy.

  • Optic Nerve
  • Visual pathway

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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.

Data availability statement

No data are available.

View Full Text


  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.