Abstract

Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) may cause mechanical injuries to the optic nerve head (ONH) and the peripapillary tissues in glaucoma. Previous studies have reported the mechanical deformation of the ONH and the peripapillary sclera (PPS) at elevated IOP. The deformation of the peripapillary retina (PPR) has not been well-characterized. Here we applied high-frequency ultrasound elastography to map and quantify PPR deformation, and compared PPR, PPS and ONH deformation in the same eye. Whole globe inflation was performed in ten human donor eyes. High-frequency ultrasound scans of the posterior eye were acquired while IOP was raised from 5 to 30 mmHg. A correlation-based ultrasound speckle tracking algorithm was used to compute pressure-induced displacements within the scanned tissue cross-sections. Radial, tangential, and shear strains were calculated for the PPR, PPS, and ONH regions. In PPR, shear was significantly larger in magnitude than radial and tangential strains. Strain maps showed localized high shear and high tangential strains in PPR. In comparison to PPS and ONH, PPR had greater shear and a similar level of tangential strain. Surprisingly, PPR radial compression was minimal and significantly smaller than that in PPS. These results provide new insights into PPR deformation in response of IOP elevation, suggesting that shear rather than compression was likely the primary mode of IOP-induced mechanical insult in PPR. High shear, especially localized high shear, may contribute to the mechanical damage of this tissue in glaucoma.

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