All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Maria Grant

Advisory Committee Members

Jarrod Barnes

Timothy Kraft

Stefanie Krick

Tim Lahm

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Optometry


Pulmonary artery hypertension is a chronic and progressive disease leading to right heart failure and, ultimately, death if untreated. The goal of the studies in this dissertation was to determine if fluorescein angiography (FA), and color fundus angiography (CF) imaging could be used to garner critical information about retinal changes in individuals with pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH). VESsel GENerational Analysis (VESGEN) is a noninvasive computer program that assigns branching generation to large and small vessels. VESGEN was utilized to investigate vascular alterations in FA, and CF imaging investigating disease progression in PAH. This dissertation demonstrated that PAH patients had aberrant retinal vasculature in FA imaging when compared to controls, and that these abnormalities may correspond with standard clinical outcome metrics in PAH. Using CF in conjunction with VESGEN analysis as a retinal imaging modality in PAH patients rather than FA with manual in-put service as a safer way for retinal change monitoring. VESGEN, combined with deep learning processing, shows potential in identifying vascular pathology earlier and in more subtle vascular alterations. Based on our results, VESGEN with FA and CF imaging may serve as an additional research tool for monitoring small changes in the progression of PAH and other systemic vascular diseases.

Included in

Optometry Commons



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