Anatomy and regulation of the optical nerve blood flow

R. Ehrlich, A. Harris, A. M. Moss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The arterial supply to the optic nerve has been widely investigated; however, the precise anatomy of the anterior optic nerve microvasculature remains difficult to ascertain. Detailed assessment of this anatomy is limited by its small vessel caliber, its complex three-dimensional structure, and the relative inaccessibility of the microvascular bed. The major branches of the ophthalmic artery include vessels to each of the extraocular muscles, the central retinal artery (CRA), and the posterior ciliary arteries (PCAs). The CRA and the short PCAs provide the blood supply to the optic nerve head (ONH). The evaluation of ocular hemodynamics continues to improve with the development of new imaging technologies. This article summarizes the vascular anatomy of the ONH, retina, and choroid, the regulation of blood flow in the ONH, and several imaging techniques used to measure blood flow in the eye.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Eye
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780123742032
ISBN (Print)9780123741981
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Autoregulation
  • Blood flow
  • Color doppler imaging
  • Histology of blood vessels
  • Laser doppler flowmetry
  • Laser doppler velocimetry
  • Optic nerve
  • Oxymetry
  • Pulsatile ocular blood flow
  • Regulation
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Ehrlich, R., Harris, A., & Moss, A. M. (2010). Anatomy and regulation of the optical nerve blood flow. In Encyclopedia of the Eye (pp. 73-82). Elsevier.