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Doina Gherghel, Sarah Louise Hosking, Ian Andrew Cunliffe; Abnormal Systemic and Ocular Vascular Response to Temperature Provocation in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients: A Case for Autonomic Failure?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(10):3546-3554. doi: 10.1167/iovs.04-0290.
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purpose. To assess systemic and ocular vascular reactivity in response to warm and cold provocation in untreated patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and normal control subjects.
methods. Twenty-four patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and 22 normal control subjects were subjected to a modified cold pressor test involving immersion of the right hand in 40°C warm water followed by 4°C cold water exposure, and finger and ocular blood flow were assessed by means of peripheral laser Doppler flowmetry and retinal flowmetry, respectively. Finger and body temperature as well as intraocular pressure, systemic blood pressure, systemic pulse pressure, heart rate, and ocular perfusion pressure were also monitored.
results. The patients with glaucoma demonstrated an increase in diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.023), heart rate (P = 0.010), and mean ocular perfusion pressure (P = 0.039) during immersion of the tested hand in 40°C water. During cold provocation, the patients demonstrated a significant decrease in finger (P = 0.0003) and ocular blood flow (the parameter velocity measured at the temporal neuroretinal rim area; P = 0.021). Normal subjects did not demonstrate any blood flow or finger temperature changes during immersion of the tested hand in 40°C water (P > 0.05); however, they exhibited increases in systolic blood pressure (P = 0.034) and pulse pressure (P = 0.0009) and a decrease in finger blood flow (P = 0.0001) during cold provocation. In normal subjects, the ocular blood flow was unchanged during high- and low-temperature challenge.
conclusions. Cold provocation elicits a different blood pressure, and ocular blood flow response in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma compared with control subjects. These findings suggest a systemic autonomic failure and ocular vascular dysregulation in POAG patients.
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