April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Association of Retinal Vessel Calibre and Iris Colour
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Evelyn Moore
    Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • A. McGowan
    Centre for Public Health, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • C. C Patterson
    Centre for Public Health, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Silvestri Giuliana
    Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Vittorio Silvestri
    Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • A. P Maxwell
    Centre for Public Health, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • G. McKay
    Centre for Public Health, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Evelyn Moore, None; A. McGowan, None; C. Patterson, None; Silvestri Giuliana, None; Vittorio Silvestri, None; A. Maxwell, None; G. McKay, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 195. doi:
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      Evelyn Moore, A. McGowan, C. C Patterson, Silvestri Giuliana, Vittorio Silvestri, A. P Maxwell, G. McKay; Association of Retinal Vessel Calibre and Iris Colour. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):195.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

Previous reports have demonstrated association between retinal vessel calibre (RVC) and ethnicity, principally on the basis of darker iris colour (1). We sought to evaluate RVC with iris colour in a population of elderly white Irish nuns.

 
Methods
 

The Irish Nun Eye Study (INES) was a cross-sectional analysis of 1233 participants with associated demographic, medical and ophthalmic history. Retinal status was assessed by stereo retinal photography in 966 participants. Retinal arteriolar and venular calibres (central retinal arteriolar [CRAE] and central retinal venular [CRVE] equivalents) were measured from retinal photographs by a standardized computer-assisted method (IVAN). Multiple linear regression was used to compare mean CRAE and CRVE between iris colour with adjustment for potential confounders.

 
Results
 

The mean age of the 966 participants included was 75.9 years (range: 56-100 years). Iris colour was characterised as blue (58.4%), brown (20.3%), hazel (14.6%) and green (6.7%). CRAE and CRVE were normally distributed, with means (SD) of 120.7 (12.5) µm and 169.5 (18.2) µm. Darker iris colour was associated with wider arteriolar and venular calibre following adjustment for age, BMI, smoking status, mean arterial blood pressure and medication. The CRAE comparison between blue (120.3 µm; SD 12.5) and brown eyes (122.3 µm; SD 12.5) was not significant (P adjusted = 0.092). The CRVE comparison between blue (168.3 µm; SD 18.0) and brown eyes (171.9 µm; SD 17.9) was significant (P adjusted = 0.021). No significant difference in CRAE was detected between brown eyes and hazel (119.8 µm; SD 12.7) or green (121.0 µm; SD 12.2). Similarly, no significant difference in CRVE was detected between brown eyes and hazel (169.6 µm; SD 18.2) or green (172.3 µm; SD 19.5).

 
Conclusions
 

Our results confirm a significant variation in CRVE between individuals with blue compared to brown iris colour. Whether, the variation observed reflects an anomaly in the contrast sensitivity of the software to delineate vessel edges as a consequence of higher retinal pigmentation levels (as approximated by iris colour) remains to be elucidated. Nevertheless, iris colour could be an important source of error in the measurement of retinal vessel calibre. Reference 1: Rochtchina et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008;49(4):1362-6

 
Keywords: 550 imaging/image analysis: clinical • 688 retina  
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