Microcirculation is a blood flow through the invisible to the eye blood vessels where oxygen release to the tissues takes place, and consists of arterioles, capillaries and venules. Microcirculation is a vital part of the blood circulation because here goes oxygen and nutrient delivery to the tissue cells and harmful metabolic products removal. The eyes are the window into the human body, because through the eyes noninvasivelly can be assessed microcirculation in both surface (bulbar conjunctiva) and deeper (the retina of the eye). Patients eye conjunctiva is the part nearest investigator and a little bit deeper are retinal microvessels. Assessing both conjunctival and retinal microvessels may be provided useful information in predicting the onset, progression and prognosis of both systemic (arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus) and CNS (stroke, dementia) vascular diseases. However, there are no studies to show conjunctival and retinal microcirculation relationship with life-threatening (critical) conditions (eg., shock, acute respiratory failure, severe brain trauma, sepsis); its progression or outcomes. We hypothesized that the conjunctival and retinal microcirculation changes are in connection with the state of the critical condition, its progression and mortality. In addition, there is no developed software that would help quickly assess morphological retinal and conjunctival microvascular changes in critical conditions.
Purpose of the project is to investigate the specific features of the eye microcirculation in critically ill patients and to create new software for quick analysis of the eye microcirculation in critically ill subjects. We are planned to perform prospective clinical study for this purpose. Using eye fundus camera and side dark field (SDF) imaging device, we will investigate retinal and conjunctival microcirculation in critically ill patients at the admission in intensive care unit and after 6 hours of treatment. Microcirculation analysis will be carried out with the available software and with our newly developed software.
Developed new software should help quickly identify pathological changes in the eye. Expected progress after the project: the results will introduced into clinical practice the eye microcirculation evaluation for early detection of a life-threatening condition and assess the response to the treatment and the prognosis; developed software will help objectyvely detect the microvascular changes and accelerate the image analysis of the critically ill patients.
Projects funded by the Research Council of Lithuania (RCL), Projects carried out by researchers’ teams
2 scientific articles in foreign periodic scientific publications having an impact factor in the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science database. A new product or software approved by a certificate on their use or implementation.
Period of project implementation: 2017-10-01 - 2019-12-31
Project coordinator: Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Project partners: Kaunas University of Technology