MRI of retinal and choroidal blood flow with laminar resolution

Eric R. Muir, Timothy Q. Duong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The retina is nourished by two distinct circulations: the retinal vessels within the inner retina and the choroidal vessels behind the neural retina. The outer nuclear layer and the inner and outer segments of the photoreceptors in between are avascular. The aim of this study was to determine whether arterial spin labeling MRI could provide sufficient resolution to differentiate between quantitative retinal blood flow (rBF) and choroidal blood flow (chBF), and whether this technique is sufficiently sensitive to detect vascular-specific blood flow (BF) changes modulated by anesthetics. Arterial spin labeling MRI was performed at 42×42×400μm3 in the mouse retina at 7 T, and was used to investigate the effects of isoflurane and ketamine/xylazine anesthesia on rBF and chBF. MRI yielded unambiguous differentiation of rBF, chBF and the avascular layer in between. Under isoflurane, chBF was 7.7±2.1mL/g/min and rBF was 1.3±0.44mL/g/min (mean±SD, n=7, p<0.01). Under ketamine/xylazine anesthesia in the same animals, chBF was 4.3±1.9mL/g/min and rBF was 0.88±0.22mL/g/min (p<0.01). Under ketamine/xylazine anesthesia, rBF was lower by 29% (P<0.01) and chBF by 42% (P<0.01) relative to isoflurane. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the quantitative imaging of rBF and chBF in vivo, providing a new method to study basal values and alterations of rBF and chBF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial spin labeling (ASL)
  • High-resolution MRI
  • Isoflurane
  • Ketamine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Perfusion
  • Retinal diseases
  • Xylazine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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