An impairment of ocular blood flow regulation is commonly considered one of the main pathogenetic mechanisms involved in the development of several eye diseases, like glaucoma. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an alteration of ocular blood supply induced by peripheral vasoconstriction might be detected by measuring the ocular surface temperature. The ocular surface temperature was evaluated in a group of 38 healthy young subjects (28 males and 10 females; mean age: 25.4 6 4.1 years) by infrared thermography. For each subject, the experimental procedure consisted of two thermographic acquisitions both lasting 10 s, recorded before and during the immersion of both hands in a mixture of ice and water (1.6 C 6 0.4 C). Specifically, the second acquisition began 20 s after the hand immersion. Analysis of variance was used to compare the ocular surface temperature of the two profiles. The analysis of infrared images was carried out every 2 s: at the eye opening (t0) until 10 s (t5), for both profiles. Data showed that ocular surface temperature increased significantly (p-value \ 0.05), especially near the sources of ocular blood supply, that is temporal and nasal areas (mean increasing temperature at t0 for P1 = 0.12 C 6 0.13 C). Therefore, these results suggest a response of the ocular hemodynamic to the peripheral vasoconstriction. The ocular surface temperature may represent a cheap, non-invasive and non-time-consuming test to evaluate ocular vaso-regulation.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 2014, Vol 228, Issue 3