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Dara D Koozekanani, Robert Joseph White, Afshin Divani, James Kohler; EFFECTS OF HYPERTENSION ON RETINAL VESSEL DIAMETER IN A MINNESOTA POPULATION. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1652.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Systemic hypertension is known to cause retinal vasculature changes, including changes to the vessel diameters. Our aim was to assess changes among elderly subjects with chronic hypertension in a predominantly geriatric population in Minnesota.
After informed consent was obtained, clinic patients were recruited at the University of Minnesota, into both hypertensive (HTn) and non-hypertensive groups, based on known prior diagnosis. Patients were excluded if they had diabetes or other retinal disorders which could affect retinal vessel diameter. At a baseline interview their medical history was obtained and their blood pressure was measured. Fifty degree fundus photographs, centered on the optic nerve, were obtained of both eyes with a Topcon camera. The retinal vessels were measured in each image using IVAN (Interactive Vessel Analyzer) v1.3 (courtesy of Dr. Nicola Ferrier, University of Wisconsin, Madison), a software package to assist measurements of retinal vessels. With the software, central retinal artery equivalents (CRAE), central retinal vein equivalents (CRVE), and arteriolar:venular ratio (AVR) were calculated for each eye.
A total of 18 HTn patients (36 eyes) and 13 non-HTn patients (26 eyes) were recruited. Of those, 3 HTn eyes and 2 non-HTn eyes could not be analyzed due to poor image quality. The HTn patients were older than the non-HTn patients (see Table 2), but their race and gender compositions were similar. The average systolic blood pressure as assessed by automated plethysmography was higher in the HTn group (142.1 mmHg) than in the non-HTn group (133.4 mmHg), but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.11). The CRAE and CRVE were both decreased in the HTn group compared to the non-HTn group (See Table 1). The AVR was lower in the HTn group, but it did not reach statistical significance.
Using the IVAN measurement tool, we found that for our cohort of hypertensive patients, a significant decrease in CRAE and CRVE was observed. AVR trended towards being lower in hypertensive patients but did not reach significance. Our resulsts shoudl be interpreted cuatiosuly due to the increased age of the hypertension group compared to the non-hypertension group.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
Table 1: CRVE, CRAE, and AVR of patients with and without hypertension assessed by two independent graders using IVAN.
Table 2: Patient demographics.
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