Regulation of oxygen saturation in retinal blood vessels in response to dynamic exercise

Rebekka Heitmar, Pravin Vekria, Robert P. Cubbidge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate the impact of dynamic exercise on retinal vessel oxygen saturation in healthy individuals. Methods: Twenty-six healthy participants underwent moderate dynamic exercise (modified Master's two-step exercise). In all subjects, intraocular pressures (IOP), systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP), retinal vessel calibres and retinal arterial and venous oxygen saturation were measured at baseline, immediately following exercise and 15 min postexercise. Results: Moderate dynamic exercise increased SBP and DBP immediately postexercise (SBP: 116 (±13) mmHg to 150 (±21) mmHg; p < 0.001 and DBP: 69 (±10) mmHg to 74 (±10); p < 0.001), while IOP decreased by an average of 2 mmHg (baseline: 13 (±3) mmHg)) immediately postexercise (11 (±2) mmHg). Oxygen saturation in retinal arteries remained unchanged (baseline = 93 ± 8%; immediately postexercise = 94 ± 9% and 15 min postexercise = 96 ± 8%; p = 0.069), but increased in retinal veins immediately postexercise and did not return to baseline values within 15 min postexercise (baseline = 54 ± 12%; immediately postexercise = 56 ± 15%; 15 min postexercise=57 ± 12%; p = 0.036). Conclusion: There is a mild increase in retinal venous oxygen saturation and there is a trend towards an increase in arterial saturation in otherwise healthy individuals following dynamic exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e298-e303
Number of pages6
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number3
Early online date2 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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