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Naim Terai, Eberhard Spoerl, Sabine Fischer, Karin R. Hornykewycz, Michael Haustein, Janek Haentzschel, Lutz E. Pillunat; The Effect Of Statins On Ocular Microcirculation In Patients With Hypercholesterolemia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):6051.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the effect of statins on ocular microcirculation in patients with hypercholesterolemia
Ten patients with hypercholesterolemia were included in this study. The diameter of retinal vessels was measured continuously with the retinal vessel analyzer (RVA) before and 4 weeks after statin therapy. After baseline assessment a monochromatic luminance flicker was applied to evoke retinal vasodilation. Flicker response was then analyzed 50, 70 and 120 sec after baseline measurement. Additionally, cholesterol-, HDL-, LDL- and triglyceride level were obtained to find a possible correlation between retinal vessel diameter changes and lipid metabolism before and after statin therapy.
The mean diameter of the arterioles before statin therapy at baseline was 106.3±1.5 µm and the mean diameter of the venules at baseline was 127.3±2.5µm. The mean diameter of the arterioles 4 weeks after statin therapy at baseline was 107.1±1.6µm and the mean diameter of the venules at baseline was 127.7±2.3µm which was significantly different from measurements before statin therapy (P=0.004). The diameter of the arterioles 4 weeks after statin therapy increased to 109.2±2.1 µm after 50 sec, to 110.6±2.6 µm after 70 sec and to 111.8±2.3µm after 120 sec with statistical significance at all time points (P=0.001). The mean diameter of the venules after statin therapy increased to 130.6±2.7µm after 50 sec, to 132.1±2.6µm after 70 sec and to 133.5±3.0µm after 120 sec with statistical significance at all time points (P=0.001).
The present study demonstrated a significant increase in vasodilatation of retinal arterioles and venules 4 weeks after statin therapy in patients with hypercholesterolemia. This effect might be elicited by an endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilatation, indicating a beneficial effect of statins on vasomotoric response in retinal vessels which is seen beyond the cholesterol lowering effect.
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