Effect of brimonidine tartrate on ocular hemodynamics in healthy volunteers

C. P. Jonescu-Cuypers, A. Harris*, Y. Ishii, L. Kagemann, H. J. Gazozi, Y. Rotenstreich, Sung Chung Hak Sung Chung, B. Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While α2-adrenergic agonists, such as brimonidine tartrate, significantly reduce the intraocular pressure (IOP), the presence of vasoconstrictor postsynaptic α2 receptors on vascular smooth muscle raise the possibility that brimonidine could potentially compromise ocular blood flow. Consequently, the ocular hemodynamic effects of brimonidine were studied in normal subjects. Twelve healthy volunteers were included in this prospective, double-masked, placebo controlled, crossover-designed clinical trial. They received either brimonidine tartrate 0.2% or placebo b.i.d. for 2 weeks. Goldmann tonometry and color Doppler imaging (CDI) were performed at baseline, at 2 hr, 1 week, and 2 weeks after the treatment. Fundus angiography using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope was performed at baseline and 2 weeks after treatment to determine retinal arteriovenous passage time. Brimonidine lowered IOP at 2 hr, 1 week, and 2 weeks (p = 0.058, p = 0.031, and p = 0.022, respectively). Brimonidine did not affect the retrobulbar arterial velocities measured by CDI, nor retinal arteriovenous passage time. In conclusion, two-week treatment with brimonidine reduces IOP and does not reduce the bulk retinal or retrobulbar arterial perfusion in young healthy volunteers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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