Theoretical models of retinal hemodynamics showed the modulation of retinal pulsatile patterns (RPPs) by heart rate (HR), yet in-vivo validation and scientific merit of this biological process is lacking. Such evidence is critical for result interpretation, study design, and (patho-)physiological modeling of human biology spanning applications in various medical specialties. In retinal hemodynamic video-recordings, we characterize the morphology of RPPs and assess the impact of modulation by HR or other variables. Principal component analysis isolated two RPPs, i.e., spontaneous venous pulsation (SVP) and optic cup pulsation (OCP). Heart rate modulated SVP and OCP morphology (pFDR < 0.05); age modulated SVP morphology (pFDR < 0.05). In addition, age and HR demonstrated the effect on between-group differences. This knowledge greatly affects future study designs, analyses of between-group differences in RPPs, and biophysical models investigating relationships between RPPs, intracranial, intraocular pressures, and cardiovascular physiology.


This is the Publisher PDF of Labounková, I., Labounek, R., Kolář, R. et al. Heart rate and age modulate retinal pulsatile patterns. Commun Biol 5, 582 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-022-03441-6. Published CC-BY.

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