This study states that Retinal oximetry imaging of retinal blood vessels measures oxygen saturation of hemoglobin. The imaging technology is non-invasive and reproducible with remarkably low variability on test-retest studies and in healthy cohorts. Pathophysiological principles and novel biomarkers in several retinal diseases have been discovered, as well as possible applications for systemic and brain disease. In diabetic retinopathy, retinal venous oxygen saturation is elevated and arteriovenous difference progressively reduced in advanced stages of retinopathy compared with healthy persons. This correlates with pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy where hypoxia stimulates VEGF production. Laser treatment and vitrectomy both improve retinal oximetry values, which correlate with clinical outcome. The oximetry biomarker may allow automatic measurement of severity of diabetic retinopathy and predict its response to treatment.

Central retinal vein occlusion is characterized by retinal hypoxia, which is evident in retinal oximetry. The retinal hypoxia seen on oximetry correlates with the extent of peripheral ischemia, visual acuity and thickness of macular edema. This biomarker may help diagnose and measure severity of vein occlusion and degree of retinal ischemia.

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