Reduced retinal blood flow velocity in diabetic retinopathy

Zvia Burgansky-Eliash*, Darin A. Nelson, Orly Pupko Bar-Tal, Anat Lowenstein, Amiram Grinvald, Adiel Barak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the retinal blood flow velocities of patients with diabetes and healthy control subjects. We used a novel device offering a noninvasive diagnostic of retinal function. Methods: Flow velocities in retinal arterioles and venules were quantitatively analyzed by retinal function imager scanning in 58 eyes of 42 patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and 51 eyes of 32 normal subjects. Group differences were assessed by the mixed-model effect. Results: Average velocity in arterial compartments (in mm/s) was 3.74 ± 1.09 for the diabetic group and 4.19 ± 0.99 for the control subjects. The average velocity of all segments, taking associated heart rate and individual segment widths into account, was 17% slower in the diabetic group (P < 0.0001). In both groups, average venous compartment velocity was lower than the arterial velocity (2.61 ± 0.65 for the diabetic group; 3.03 ± 0.59 for the control subjects). Individual vein velocities, taking heart rate and segment widths into account, was 17% slower, on average, in the diabetic group (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Our measurement showed significantly decreased flow velocities in the retinal arterioles and venules of patients with diabetes compared with healthy control subjects, supporting the view of abnormal vessel function in eyes with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-773
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood flow
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Flow velocity
  • Imaging
  • Retinal function imager (RFI)


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