To develop a quantitative measure of regional variation in choroidal blood flow (ChBF).
Five million 15-μm fluorescent microspheres were injected into the left ventricles of 4 rabbits and 3 monkeys. The fixed globes were bleached, flat mounted, and photomicrographed. After image analysis to locate each microsphere, regional densities and blood flow were determined.
Regional variation in ChBF was clearly evident. In the rabbit, a high density of spheres was seen in the visual streak. This was surrounded by a middle peripheral area of low sphere density and a far peripheral region of moderately high density. In the monkeys, sphere density was markedly greater in the macula compared with the periphery. Contour plots produced lines of constant flow that were oval and extended farther nasally than temporally in the monkeys. The ratio of central to peripheral ChBF was much greater in the monkeys than in the rabbits.
Quantitative assessment of regional ChBF can be performed using a modification of the fluorescent microsphere impaction method.
This method of determining regional ChBF will be useful for studying the vascular effects of pharmacologic agents and for characterizing animal models of human disease involving the outer retina.