gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Influence of posture on the perfusion of the optic nerve head

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author P. Galambos - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Glaukomlabor, Hamburg
  • J. Vafiadis - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Glaukomlabor, Hamburg
  • L. Wagenfeld - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Glaukomlabor, Hamburg
  • E. T. Matthiessen - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Glaukomlabor, Hamburg
  • G. Richard - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Glaukomlabor, Hamburg
  • M. Klemm - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Glaukomlabor, Hamburg
  • O. Zeitz - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Glaukomlabor, Hamburg

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogP 086

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Galambos et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




An altered autoregulation of the optic nerve head perfusion is being discussed as a possible pathogenic factor in normal tension glaucoma. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of a change in body posture on the microcirculation of the optic nerve head in patients with high and normal tension glaucoma (HTG and NTG) controlling for the systemic blood pressure.


Peak systolic blood flow velocity (PSV) and enddiastolic velocity (EDV) in the short posterior ciliary artery supplying the optic nerve head were measured in a sitting, supine and 30°-upright-position with Color Doppler Imaging (Siemens Elegra, 7.5 MHz) and evaluated statistically. Before each examination systolic and diastolic blood pressures were taken.


In the NTG-group PSV was 9.0±0.8cms-1 in the sitting position. It increased to 11.5±1.1cms-1 in the supine and 11.9±0.6cms-1 in the 30°-position. In the HTG-group PSV changed from 8.2±0.7cms-1 (sitting) to 11.8±1.3cms-1 (supine) and 11.7±1.4cms-1 (30°-position). EDV in the NTG-group was 2.0±0.2cms-1 in the sitting, 3.8±0.4cms-1 in supine and 3.7±0.4cms-1 in the 30°-position. In the HTG-group the EDV increased from 1.9±0.2cms-1 (sitting) to 3.4±0.5cms-1 (supine) and 3.5±0.5cms-1 (30°-position). The increase in PSV and EDV from the sitting to the supine and 30°-position was statistically significant in both groups (p<0.05; n=13 NTG-group; n=17 HTG-group) and independent of the systemic blood pressure (no increase in the systolic or diastolic blood pressure with change of posture from sitting to supine or 30°-position). No difference was observed in this study between HTG and NTG patients.


In HTG- and NTG-patients the local perfusion of the optic nerve head is significantly increased after posture change from the sitting to the supine and 30°-position independent of the systemic blood pressure.