Noninvasive visualization of the choriocapillaris and its dynamic filling.
PURPOSE: The choroidal microvasculature and its circulation are inadequately assessed by presently available techniques. Laser-targeted delivery was applied to generate local, repetitive angiograms of the choriocapillaris in primates. METHODS: Carboxyfluorescein was encapsulated in heat-sensitive liposomes and injected intravenously in monkeys. The liposome contents were then released locally in the choroid by application of a short heat pulse provided by an infrared laser. The bolus of dye spread rapidly downstream from the underlying arterioles into clusters of lobules. Video angiograms were generated with excitation illumination provided by an argon laser. RESULTS: Laser-targeted delivery choroidal angiography performed on three monkeys indicated that the fluorescence was emitted mainly from the choriocapillaris. Clusters of irregular shape with well-defined margins were observed. Adjacent arteries typically supplied separate clusters that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The dynamic filling and emptying patterns, recorded at video rate, revealed that macular lobules were filled by a central arteriole and drained by a venous annulus. The average dye transit time through a lobule (n = 10) was 118 +/- 26 msec (mean +/- SD), and the dye transit velocity was 2.53 +/- 0.55 mm/sec. CONCLUSIONS: This study clearly documents the segmental nature of the primate choroidal microvasculature. It also illustrates that choroidal angiography by laser-targeted dye delivery provides information useful for studying the response of the choriocapillaris to physiological and pathologic changes.
Kiryu, J; Shahidi, M; Mori, MT; Ogura, Y; Asrani, S; Zeimer, R
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