Influence of Latanoprost on Retinal Microcirculation in Glaucoma

S Kremmer*, 1, 2, M Iliadou1, G Anastassiou1, 2, M Schallenberg2, W Vilser3, 4, K.P Steuhl2, J.M Selbach1, 2
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Evangelische Kliniken Gelsenkirchen, Munckelstr. 27, 45879 Gelsenkirchen, Germany
2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany
3 Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, Ilmenau University of Technology, Ilmenau, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Str.2, Germany
4 Imedos Systems UG, Jena, Am Naßtal 4, Germany

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© Kremmer et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Ophthalmology, Evangelische Kliniken Gelsenkirchen, Munckelstr. 27, 45879 Gelsenkirchen, Germany; Tel: 0049 – 209 – 37261; Fax: 0049 – 209 – 378555; E-mail:


Purpose :

To test whether latanoprost has an influence on ocular haemodynamics, considering the general reputation of prostaglandins which is frequently associated with vasoconstriction. The effect of latanoprost on the retinal blood supply of treatment-naïve glaucoma patients was tested.

Materials and Methodology :

13 patients (7 male, 6 female) who had just recently been diagnosed with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) were treated with latanoprost (0.005%). The average age of our study group was 63.8 years (+/- 2.9 years).

The drug’s effect on retinal autoregulation was assessed by flicker test using the Dynamic Vessel Analyzer (DVA). Examinations took place before initializing treatment, after 4 weeks and once again after 4 to 6 months.

Results :

In our group of POAG patients, the IOP under treatment was significantly reduced about 25%. No intraindividual differences in systemic blood pressure and heart rate were observed. In DVA measurements of glaucoma patients, the maximum flicker dilation of the arteries was significantly lower than reported for healthy volunteers. Beyond that, POAG patients did not show significant differences in vessel diameters, peak amplitudes as well as maximum dilations of retinal arteries and veins before and under treatment with latanoprost (0.005%).

Conclusion :

Latanoprost markedly lowered the IOP but it did not exert a significant effect on retinal haemodynamics. There was neither a tendency towards vasoconstriction nor towards vasodilation. Sustaining reperfusion damage after topical latanoprost therapy thus seems to be highly unlikely. Further studies must show if sole IOP lowering or a dual positive effect – IOP lowering and improvement of retinal vessel autoregulation – have a more positive impact on the long term follow-up of glaucoma patients.

Keywords: Autoregulation, dynamic vessel analyzer (DVA), glaucoma, haemodynamics, latanoprost, vascular dysregulation. .