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Physiological Variation of Vessel-diameters of Retinal Arterioles

1Ilgner M., 2End S., 1Bartke T. U., 3Blum M., 2Hilberg T., 1Strobel J.,
1Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Klinik für Augenheilkunde (Jena)
2Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institut für Sportwissenschaft (Jena)
3HELIOS-Klinikum Erfurt , Klinik für Augenheilkunde (Erfurt)

Purpose: The aim of the study is to standardize conditions in the noninvasive measurement of retinal vessels diameters exposed to a rise in intraluminal blood pressure due to physical exercise.
Methods: In cooperation with the Institute of Sports Science we quantified the “Individual Anaerobic Threshold” (IAS) in each volunteer in order to quantitatively measure the effect of the physical exercise. After that a continuous measurement of an retinal arteriole diameter was performed in healthy male volunteers over a period of 23 minutes by the use of the Retinal Vessel Analyzer (RVA). During this period of time the volunteers were not exposed to any physical exercise. Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), pulse, and lactic acid were measured every three minutes.
Results: The study demonstrates physiological fluctuations of the diameter of retinal vessels, even if the volunteer is not exposed to any physical effort. These fluctuations have to be taken into account when examining the response of retinal vessels to elevations of mean blood pressure caused by physical exercise.
Conclusions: The results presented give a baseline to quantify the response of retinal vessels to a rise in mean arterial blood pressure caused by physical exercise. For the first time a standardization of the effect of physical exercise is tested by means of the Individual Anaerobic Threshold.