PURPOSE. To evaluate the effects of acute arterial blood pressure (ABP) and venous pressure changes on IOP in rats with experimental glaucoma.
METHODS. Unilateral experimental ocular hypertension was established in Sprague-Dawley rats by weekly intracameral injection of microbeads. Ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) and IOP were recorded from the anterior chamber using 1.2-Fr microsensors under urethane anesthesia. The effects on IOP during hemodynamic challenges using phenylephrine (PE) (50 μg/kg/min intravenous [IV]) and rapid saline loading (20 mL/kg/min IV) were studied.
RESULTS. Over an 8-week period, IOP was significantly elevated by 60% in the unilateral ocular hypertensive eyes. Both ABP and IOP were significantly increased by PE infusion. A significantly greater IOP increase was found in the experimental eyes compared with control eyes (1.32 ± 0.18 mm Hg vs. 0.90 ± 0.09 mm Hg). Correspondingly, higher OPAs and an amplification of the OPA during arterial hypertension were found in the experimental eyes. A sustained rise in IOP secondary to IV saline loading was observed, with a greater rise observed among experimental eyes (0.74 ± 0.13 mm Hg vs. 0.37 ± 0.005 mm Hg).
CONCLUSIONS. Sympathetic acceleration of ABP using PE resulted in surges in IOP and OPA. In contrast, increased venous pressure resulted in a more sustained rise in IOP but to a lesser extent. These responses were more pronounced in eyes with experimental glaucoma compared with control eyes, which may reflect the higher starting IOP contributing to a reduced ocular compliance. Our results suggest that eyes with ocular hypertension are more susceptible to IOP variability induced by hemodynamic fluctuations.