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Petrina B. Tan, Owen K. Hee, Carol Cheung, Tun Kuan Yeo, Rupesh Agrawal, James Ng, Tock Han Lim, Tien Yin Wong, Stephen C. Teoh; Retinal Vascular Parameter Variations in Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(13):7962-7967. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13081.
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To compare the retinal vascular parameters in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection with normal controls, and to determine the relationship between retinal vascular parameters and HIV-related blood biomarkers (CD4+ T-lymphocytes count, presence of HIV RNA).
Case-control study of eighty-five patients with HIV on follow-up at the Communicable Disease Center, Singapore, and 251 age-, sex-, and race-matched normal healthy controls (case: control matching ≈ 1:3) selected from the Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Disease program were included in this study. Standardized retinal photographs were taken from patients and controls. Trained technicians measured quantitative retinal vascular parameters (retinal vascular caliber, branching angle, tortuosity, and fractal dimension) with a semiautomated computer-based program following a standardized protocol.
HIV-patients had more tortuous arterioles (0.77 ×  vs. 0.59 × , P < 0.001) and venules (0.90 ×  vs. 0.74 × , P < 0.001), compared with healthy normal subjects. Amongst the HIV-patients, increasing HIV viral loads were associated with decreased retinal arteriolar caliber (P trend = 0.009) and decreased arteriolar-venular ratio (P trend = 0.025).
Our study showed that patients with HIV have significant variations in retinal vasculature. Retinal vascular imaging may offer further insight into the pathophysiology behind HIV-related vascular disease in future.
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