Background: Heat stress induces various physiological changes and so could influence ocular circulation. This study examined the effect of heat stress on ocular blood flow.Findings: Ocular blood flow, end-tidal carbon dioxide (PETCO2) and blood pressure were measured for 12 healthy subjects wearing water-perfused tube-lined suits under two conditions of water circulation: (1) at 35°C (normothermia) for 30 min and (2) at 50°C for 90 min (passive heat stress). The blood-flow velocities in the superior temporal retinal arteriole (STRA), superior nasal retinal arteriole (SNRA), and the retinal and choroidal vessels (RCV) were measured using laser-speckle flowgraphy. Blood flow in the STRA and SNRA was calculated from the integral of a cross-sectional map of blood velocity. PETCO2 was clamped at the normothermia level by adding 5% CO2 to the inspired gas. Passive heat stress had no effect on the subjects' blood pressures. The blood-flow velocity in the RCV was significantly lower after 30, 60 and 90 min of passive heat stress than the normothermic level, with a peak decrease of 18 ± 3% (mean ± SE) at 90 min. Blood flow in the STRA and SNRA decreased significantly after 90 min of passive heat stress conditions, with peak decreases of 14 ± 3% and 14 ± 4%, respectively.Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that passive heat stress decreases ocular blood flow irrespective of the blood pressure or arterial partial pressure of CO2.
- Choroidal circulation
- Retinal circulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)