Blood flow in high-tension and normal-tension glaucoma

Peripheral blood flow in glaucoma

The observation that in many glaucoma patients blood flow is altered not only in the eye but also, for example, in the fingertips is important for the following reasons: a) it shows that the reduction in ocular blood flow cannot be, or is not only, a secondary reduction due to eye pressure or glaucoma damage, but that there must be a primary component and b) that this dysfunction is not limited locally but is systemic and thus must also have a systemic cause. Therefore, a systemic therapy is also useful.
Nailford Capillaroscopy
P Gasser, J Flammer:
Blood-Cell Velocity in the Nailfold Capillaris of Patients with Normal-Tension and High-Tension Glaucoma
Gasser and Flammer were the first to study the nail-fold capillaries in glaucoma patients. Already in 1991, they showed that in glaucoma patients the blood flow velocity in these finger capillaries is slowed down, and this more in normal tension glaucoma than in high tension glaucoma patients. Further, they showed that cold stimulation leads to a flow arrest, especially in normal tension glaucoma patients, that is significantly longer than in healthy controls. This was a first indication that these glaucoma patients have a disturbance in the regulation of blood flow.